This year edition of Krakow Photomonth is curated by Gordon Macdonald.
The history of the Krakow Photomonth Festival dates back to 2001, when the Foundation for Visual Arts was established. The same year marked also the successful start of the festival. Since then, it has taken many forms in search of its own identity and as a response to the ever-changing face of photography.
After the very unconventional 2011 edition, a new shape of the festival began to emerge. Experiments were not abandoned and remained in the programme under the Experimental Section (the then curator was Charlotte Cotton). Also the ShowOFF Section stayed at place. The idea of the Main Programme was revived, and in 2012 it took the most open form in the entire history of the festival. The jubilee edition, advertised with the slogan “Join!”, encouraged celebrations with the photographs of such names as Alexander Rodchenko, Sally Mann, and Jason Evans.
2013, in turn, introduced a very specific topic—fashion. It featured also an impressive list of stars of photography, including Guy Bourdin, Peter Lindbergh, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, David LaChapelle, Nick Knight, and Tadeusz Rolke. In 2013, even “Cosmopolitan” mentioned the Photomonth and although the exhibitions presented simply beautiful photographs, they rather explored issues related with fashion’s position in culture than the aesthetic dimension of fashion photography.
Three subsequent editions were already meant as a cycle and they displayed a particular cohesion of form. The Main Programme of each one was created by a different guest curator: Aaron Schuman (Re:Search, 2014), Wojciech Nowicki (Conflict, 2015), and Lars Willumeit (Crisis? What crisis?!, 2016). As part of Accompanying Events, a new series was born—Masters Series meetings—offering the audiences an opportunity to talk with prominent photographers, such as Josef Koudelka or Max Pinckers.
The diverse programme of exhibitions, not only the photographic ones, enriched with meetings and other events, gives people a wide perspective of the contemporary photography and the festival’s leitmotif. Guests invited to collaborate include Polish and foreign artists, those well-known ones and those who only just have made their way in the world of art, individual authors and collectives. Each exhibition is a different point of view, a subjective message from the author that corresponds with other and invites the viewer to join the discussion. Not only was Photomonth founded to present high-quality photographs, but, first of all, to inspire, provoke some thought, stimulate, and integrate the Krakow community.
Foundation for Visual Arts