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Krakow Photomonth 2017

“Nothing is true and nothing is false—everything is a possible true fiction or deceptive fact,” this is how Gordon MacDonald, the curator of the main programme, writes on images presented during the Krakow Photomonth Festival. The 15th, jubilee edition of the festival, focuses on how photographers see and describe the world.

 

Krakow Photomonth is one of the most significant photography festivals in Europe, which for years has discussed current social issues described through works of the most prominent and interesting visual artists from all over the world. This year we invited Gordon MacDonald, UK-based curator, publisher, and artist, who has prepared a series of exhibitions showing how the world balances between reality and fiction; the series will be presented under a common title From the Outside, Looking In. On the images, things are neither true nor fabricated. Everything is possible. Whether we believe the image, is our own decision.

One of the exhibitions, Divisive Moments displaying documents from UFO Photo Archives, poses a question if we are regularly visited by aliens, or we are victims of mass self-manipulation. On the opposite side—but only seemingly—an American artist, Susan Lipper, in the Grapevine series presents her photographs picturing dwellers of a small town in Appalachian Mountains. Acting unlike the convention would require, she allowed her models to play characters they have created, thus asking what the role of documentary photography is. Similar questions are posed by female photographers whose works are displayed in the The War From Here—this time however it is not war as we know it from everyday news, but war which makes us, the viewers, start feeling instead of just watching. On the exhibition We Also Dance, Gordon MacDonald takes us on the journey to an extraordinary world of dance as a manifestation of freedom and an antidote to political and social control of minds and bodies.

The work on display in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow gives us an opportunity to contemplate the memory of sites and the stories told about ourselves by traces found by Diana Lelonek in the area of the Liban quarry and a former concentration camp in Płaszów. The exhibition Things: The Object in Polish Photography presented by Fotografia Kolekcjonerska shows works of outstanding Polish artists of several generations, who give their individual approaches to this subjects; a solo exposition of the works of Andrzej Georgiew allows us to rediscover this distinguished artist.

Krakow Photomonth also allows room for emerging artists in the ShowOFF Section, which was record-breaking in terms of submitted applications this year, and the Portfolio Review, as well as in dozens of accompanying events—Masters Series meetings, book premieres, workshops, film screenings, curator walks, and the Krakow Photo Fringe. The festival opens on 19 May and, traditionally, will take the whole month.

 

Krakow Photomonth 2017 Festival

19 May–18 June 2017

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