KRAKOW, POLAND -- The Photomonth in Krakow is a feast for photographers, photography lovers, photography students, and photography ignorants waiting to be educated. Every year, for a period of one month, the city of Krakow is filled with photography. One could be really impressed by its agile, ambitious, and intelligent approach to photographic culture. Krakow Photomonth reflects what is on the minds of many people in the photographic community. It is clear that the Festival’s spirit of enquiry stems from a genuine founding principle to create a meaningful focus for photography - one that is unique, specific to its location, and internationally resonant. This principle aim is not limited to Photomonth’s exhibitions, but exists as an ongoing commitment. Krakow's Photomonth is generous to its viewers and participants: it is expansive in the scope of photography that it shows and discusses, its program is inclusive, and it aligns Polish photography with the salient concerns and themes in the world today.
The anniversary exhibitions in the Main Program of the Photomonth are a combination of classic figures in photography and youngest artists who have not entered the canon yet. There is a major solo exhibition of Alexander Rodchenko at the National Museum and Sally Mann, whose work is at once contemporary and classic. The work of Sergey Bratkov can be viewed in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow. One can see a collection of Viviane Sassen’s pictures of Africa, which are enchantingly beautiful, yet not without a sense of unease. Someone can also hear about the stories behind Lieko Shiga’s ghostly photographs of London, rural Japan and Australia. There is also a chance to look at René Magritte, the marvellous photography collection of Cezary Pieczyński, and a project specially produced for the Festival by Jason Evans.
An important innovation in the Festival’s formula is the Experimental Section. Under the leadership of the famous British critic Charlotte Cotton (author of "The Photograph as Contemporary Art"), with the participation of several Polish curators and academics, a comprehensive interdisciplinary project takes place. The ShowOFF Section of this year’s Festival presents ten (out of six hundred submitted) projects chosen by the jury composed of five creative duets of artists and curators, including Zuza Krajewska and Bartek Wieczorek, Grzegorz Piątek and Jarosław Trybuś.
Every year, the Photomonth is an opportunity to gain valuable tips for anyone who is interested and ready to present their photographic achievements. The group of reviewers invited to participate in the Review section of the Festival include professional photographers, photo editors, dealers, art critics, representatives of agencies or photography magazines and galleries, ready to provide practical advice and valuable comments.
The program of events accompanying the Photomonth in Krakow include numerous meetings, workshops, screenings, lectures, events and urban games. These events strengthen, complement and continue the topics covered by the festival's diverse set of exhibitions in the Main Program and the presentations of the ShowOFF Section (as seen in Photos 1 & 2).
All photos courtesy of Tom Schieller.