SYMPOSIUM: Why Exhibit?
Provoking Questions about Exhibiting (Extended) Photography
1 June 2018
Museum of Photography, Krakow
Why Exhibit? provides a platform for discussion of developments within the photographic medium and how these impact artistic, theoretical, and curatorial knowledge and practice.
In the age of networked digital media, images pass through a variety of platforms whilst being frantically disseminated. In what ways has today’s visual culture diversified the physical presentation of photography? How does the public’s circulation of their own images via social media impact the experience of the actual exhibition space? Is it relevant to distinguish between video and photography, when digitalisation allows artists to move naturally between mediums? How can the digital negative be preserved, presented and archived?
The symposium responds to these and other persistent, contemporary questions. In the form of several moderated panels, artists, curators, and researchers present their work and discuss varying approaches to exhibiting. All the participants aim to challenge, reassess, and diversify the specific grammar produced by presenting photo-based works. Through focusing not only on museums, but also on public spaces, catalogues, and digital environments, the symposium proposes current forms of exhibiting and curating photographic images and art as a discursive space–especially one perceived as an arena that reacts to major social phenomena, and could potentially act as a starting point for intellectual and emotional knowledge production.
The audience at the symposium is encouraged to take an active role during the day, and, by doing so, participate in a fluid way in creating content, which will eventually be incorporated into the publication Why Exhibit? edited by Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger and Iris Sikking. The book will be launched at Paris Photo, 2018.
- Registration and coffee09.00–10.00
Introduction of the 16th edition of Krakow Photomonth—Space of Flows: Framing an Unseen Reality
Introduction of the book Why Exhibit: Provoking Questions about Exhibiting (Extended) Photography (launched autumn 2018)
Panel I: On collectives and collaboration10.30
Lars Willumeit, Nicoló Degiorgis, Michał Łuczak, Krzysztof Pijarski (chair)
- Coffee break
Panel II: On archives and collections11.40
Karolina Puchała-Rojek, Agnieszka Rayss, Anna Tellgren, Taco Hidde Bakker (chair)
Panel III: On the photographic image in digital culture13.30
Jules Spinatsch, Doris Gassert, Susan Schuppli, Krzysztof Pijarski (chair)
- Coffee break
Panel IV: On audiences and interaction14.40
Lisa Barnard, Taco Hidde Bakker, Krzysztof Pijarski, Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger (chair)
- End of symposium
Presentation—Museum of Photography in Krakow
- Drinks in the garden
Lisa Barnard’s photographic practice discusses real events, embracing complex and innovative visual strategies that utilise both traditional documentary techniques and more contemporary and conceptually rigorous forms of representation. Barnard connects her interest in aesthetics, current photographic debates on materiality, and the existing political climate. “Barnard describes herself as a photographic artist, but her work seems unapologetically political. She pays homage to, and undercuts, the tropes of documentary realism”—Sean O’Hagan, Guardian review of Chateau Despair. Barnard is a Reader in Photography and Programme Leader on the MA in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales. She has two publications, both with GOST: Chateau Despair and Hyenas of the Battlefield, Machines in the Garden. Her new project, The Canary and the Hammer, will be published early in 2019 by MACK.
Academically trained in sinology and professionally in photography, Nicoló Degiorgis is an author and publisher currently on residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. He runs the publishing house Rorhof and occasionally curates exhibitions.
Doris Gassert is Research Curator at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, where she co-curates SITUATIONS (situations.fotomuseum.ch), runs the blog “Still Searching…” (blog.fotomuseum.ch), and is responsible for Fotomuseum’s publications. With SITUATIONS, a research lab and exhibition format that investigates current changes in photographic media and culture, she helps develop Fotomuseum’s programme and understanding of post-photography. She holds a PhD in media studies from the University of Basel, Switzerland, where she teaches media aesthetics, with a focus on the intermediality and epistemology of photography and the politics of representation.
Taco Hidde Bakker
Taco Hidde Bakkeris a writer and researcher. He completed an MA in Photographic Studies at Leiden University with a thesis on the crossroads of photo theory and visual anthropology. He worked as a researcher on the documentary project The Last Days of Shishmaref with Paradox and Dana Lixenberg. His writings have been published in catalogues, artist’s books, and in magazines such as Camera Austria, Foam Magazine, EXTRA, British Journal of Photography, and The PhotoBook Review. His first volume of essays, The Photograph That Took the Place of a Mountain, is forthcoming from Fw:Books in 2018.
Michał Łuczak is a PhD student at the Institute of Creative Photography of the Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic, and a graduate in Iberian studies from the University of Silesia. In his work he focuses on Silesia, Poland’s coal-mining heartland. He observes the smaller communities, using them as a metaphor for society as a whole. Łuczak has authored several photobooks (Brutal, self-published, Katowice 2012; Kołomiejsca / Elementarz, with Krzysztof Siwczyk, Czytelnia Sztuki, Gliwice 2016; 11.41, with Filip Springer, self-published, 2016). His work has been recognised with a Magnum Expression Award and Mio Photo Award, as well as awarded Polish Photographic Publication of the Year. A member of Sputnik Photos since 2010, he also works as a curator and editor of photobooks. He is an artist of the Krakow Photomonth 2018 Main Programme. His project is being shownat Re Gallery at MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow.
Krzysztof Pijarski is an artist working mainly with photography, and Assistant Professor at Łódź Film School. Interested in all forms of visual thinking, narration and montage. Participant of PLAT(T)FORM 2012 at the Fotomuseum Winterthur. Editor Object Lessons: Zofia Rydet’s Sociological Record (2017) and The Archive as Project (2011), author of Archeologia modernizmu. Michael Fried, fotografia i nowoczesne doświadczenie sztuki (“An Archaeology of Modernism: Michael Fried, Photography, and the Modern Experience of Art”, 2017). Editor at View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture.
Karolina Puchała-Rojek is an art and photography historian, co-founder and chair (for almost four years) of the Archaeology of Photography Foundation, one of the first institutions in Poland involved in photography heritage and archive protection. For the past ten years she has been digitising projects through her foundation, both digitally preserving and providing access to photography archives. She coordinates international projects devoted to the protection of photography archives (including The Long Life of Photography). She has edited books (including Zofia Chomętowska: Polesie. The Photographs from 1925–1939, the catalogue for the Zofia Chomętowska exhibition in Minsk, Belarus), written articles, and selected photographs for the two volumes of Zofia Chomętowska: Photographer’s Albums, which received awards at events including the Photography Publication of the Year competition in 2016; she was also co-editor of Wojciech Zamecznik: Photo-graphics (winner of the prestigious Aperture and Paris Photo competition for photography catalogue of the year in 2016). She has written articles on the history of photography, and curated and co-curated exhibitions, such as one on Wojciech Zamecznik at Warsaw’s Zachęta Gallery (with Karolina Lewandowska, 2016) and The Estate: Sculptures from the Collection ofvon Rose Family with Films and Photographs from the Archives of Zofia Chomętowska exhibition(in a curatorial team led by Agnieszka Tarasiuk, 2015). She is presently working on the archive of negatives belonging to Marek Piasecki.
Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger, PhD, works as a Professor in Exhibition Studies and Spatiality at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki. Formerly she was the Chief Curator at the Finnish Museum of Photography. Rastenberger is an art historian specialising in contemporary art and photographic art. She has extensive experience in exhibition projects, curating practices, and the international exhibition scene of the contemporary arts. Her special interests are new forms of photography as contemporary art, exhibition as critical practice, and feminist practices in the art field. Rastenberger is also an artistic co-director and co-founder of the Festival of Political Photography, which seeks to examine what the word “political” means in contemporary extended photographic practices.
Agnieszka Rayss is a photographer, co-founder of the Sputnik Photos collective. A graduate in history of art from the Jagiellonian University, her main field of interest is documentary photography. Rayss is the recipient of numerous awards at photography competitions in Poland and abroad and of a Ministry of Culture and National Heritage scholarship, as well as the author of two photography books: American Dream—on cultural transformation and the triumph of pop culture in Central and Eastern Europe—and Tu się zaczyna koniec miast (“This Is Where the End of Cities Begins”)—on undiscovered urban spaces. She is an artist of the Krakow Photomonth 2018 Main Programme. Her project is being shown at Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art.
Susan Schuppli is an artist and researcher based in the UK, whose work examines material evidence from war and conflict to environmental disasters. Recent projects include Trace Evidence, a video trilogy commissioned by Arts Catalyst UK &Bildmuseet, Sweden, and Atmospheric Feedback Loops, a Vertical Cinema commission for Sonic Acts, Amsterdam. She has published widely within the context of media and politics and is author of the forthcoming book, Material Witness (MIT Press). Schuppli is Director of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London, and previously worked on the Forensic Architecture project. In 2016 she received the ICP Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research. She is an artist of the Krakow Photomonth 2018 Main Programme. Her project is being shown at Szara Kamienica Gallery.
Iris Sikking is an independent curator, educated as a film editor and a photo historian. As a curator and author, she positions herself in the overlapping fields of photography and video art with a focus on a cinematic approach and creating narrative structures. For 10 years now she has conceived exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad, including, for Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, Baby: Picturing the Ideal Human, 1840–Now (2008); Dana Lixenberg’s project The Last Days of Shishmaref (2008); Geert van Kesteren’s exhibition Baghdad Calling (2008); and thematic group exhibit ANGRY: Young and Radical (2011). She additionally served as producer and curator for Poppy: Trails of Afghan Heroin (2012–2016), a four-channel installation by Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong which was presented worldwide; as curator of Yann Mingard’s Deposit (2015) for Fotomuseum Antwerp; and as guest curator of a group show for Krakow Photomonth 2016 entitled A New Display: Visual Storytelling at a Crossroads. In addition to her curatorial projects, she carries out portfolio reviews, serves on multiple competition juries, and was recently appointed to the advisory committees of the Mondriaan Fund and Stroom Den Haag. She is also a tutor at the Academy of Art and Design St. Joost (Breda, NL). She is a guest curator of the Krakow Photomonth 2018 Main Programme.
Jules Spinatsch was born in Davos in the Swiss Alps and now lives in Zurich. After completing the ICP photography class in New York in 1994, he worked in photojournalism. Since 2000 he has presented his work in exhibitions, photographic installations, and books. For six years he taught at Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD). He is best known for his Surveillance Panorama Projects, made with programmed cameras that generate hybrid panorama images, composed of several thousand images: Temporary Discomfort, Fabre n’est pas venu, Vienna MMIX,and Competing Agendas. Other well-known projects include Snow Management Complex, a study on alpine tourism (2001–2008), and Asynchronous I–X, a series on nuclear technology (2012–2014). Spinatsch’s works are held in the collections of: Kunsthaus Zurich, MoMA New York, Fotomuseum Winterthur, MAST Bologna, SFMOMA, Bündner Kunstmuseum, Cnap Paris, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Missouri, among others. He is an artist of the Krakow Photomonth 2018 Main Programme. His project is being shown at Starmach Gallery.
Anna Tellgren, PhD, has been Curator of Photography at Moderna Museet in Stockholm since 2004. She has curated numerous exhibitions, including Arbus, Model, Strömholm (2005), Lars Tunbjörk. Winter/Home (2007), Moderna Museet Now: Inta Ruka (2008), and her exhibition Francesca Woodman. On Being an Angel (2015) is touring internationally. In 2011 she was responsible for the project Another Story. Photography from the Moderna Museet Collection, a major presentation of photography in the entire museum. Previously, she worked as a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Art History at Stockholm University. She was the editor of The History Book. On Moderna Museet 1958–2008 (2008), and is associate editor of Konsthistorisktidskrift/Journal of Art History.
Lars Willumeit works as an independent curator, author, and art educator. With degrees in Social Anthropology (LSE, London) and Curatorial Studies (ZHdK, Zurich), his interests are in photography, documentarisms, regimes of representation, and visual cultures. Recent projects include: CO-OP, Unseen Amsterdam (2017); Unfamiliar Familiarities—Outside Views on Switzerland at Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur (2017); Crisis? What Crisis?!—guest curatorship of Krakow Photomonth 2016; Beyond Evidence: An Incomplete Narratology of Photographic Truths, Quad (2015); Fabrik, German Pavilion curated by Florian Ebner, Venice (2015); and Deposit by Yann Mingard (2014).
The symposium will be held in English.
Organisers: Foundation for Visual Arts, Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts
Co-organiser: Museum of Photography in Krakow
Partners: Fw:Books, Mondriaan Fund
Museum of Photography in Krakow
ul. Królowej Jadwigi 220
(Strzelnica, entrance from ul. Pod Sikornikiem)
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Ticket: 147 pln
You can buy a ticket at the Museum of Photography, 1.06 from 9.00 a.m. to 9.30 a.m.