A cycle of events held within the framework of the 5th Warsaw Festival of Art Photography 2009 is promoting photography as a medium broadly used by the artists from various artistic fields, especially the artists of the young generation, and for the third time is of international nature. It was established in cooperation with the higher art schools of the Czech Republic and most importantly in the cooperation with the outstanding photographer, photography historian and  teacher at the Institute of Creative Photography of Silesian University in Opava (ITF) – Professor Vladimír Birgus. Also prestigious cultural institutions and galleries of contemporary art and photography are involved in the organization of the festival by either consenting to host the exhibitions proposed by the organizer or providing their own exhibition proposals. It has already become a tradition that the program of the Festival includes the competition part where the contestants are Polish artists up to 35 years of age. This year the main programme of the Czech and Polish exhibitions was substantially expanded to present the various ways of understanding the artistic values in the contemporary photography. Also we have planned the meetings and lectures to be delivered by Polish (C. Kościelniak, Ph.D., Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts/Adam Mickiewicz University; A. Mazur, Ph.D. CSW Zamek Ujazdowski [Contemporary Art Centre]) and well known Czech and American (professor Justine D. Price, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY) critics of photography, curators and photographers. Our invitation to the seminar devoted to the Czech photography was accepted by such well known teachers and photographers related to ITF in Opava as: professor V. Birgus; Jindřich Štreit, Reader; Jiří Siostrzonek, Ph.D., and Tomáš Pospěch.


The approach to the presentation of the Czech photography will be multifaceted. The program includes exhibitions showing Czech photo art from the historic perspective through the recollection of the Czech avant-garde representatives such as Frantisek Drtikol, Jaroslav Rössler, Jaromir Funke, and Eugen Wiskovsky (“Classics of the Czech Avant-garde Photography"), and such popular themes as “The Nude in the Czech Photography 1960-2000”, and the presentation of Jan Saudek, Ivan Pinkava, Vaclav Jiráska, Veronika Bromova, Vaclav Chochol, Miloslav Stibor, and Jiriho David (this exhibition has already been presented in two Polish cities, i.e. Wroclaw and Poznan; the Warsaw audience will have an opportunity to see it for the first time and in its most elaborate form). Embedded in the characteristic trend for Czech photography  - the documentary photography - is the retrospective exhibition of Jindřich Štreit (“The Photographs 1965-2005”). We will also present the works from the border of the document and subjective creation by professor Vladimír Birgus.The main aim of the Festival is to promote the young photographers. Of the young Czech artists, yet already fairly popular and strongly appraised, recognized and distinguished on international festivals and competitions, a special emphasis was put on the activities of the female photographers – “The Identity of the Young Czech Female Photographers” (female artists up to 35 years of age: Dita Pepe, Katerina Drzkova, Tereza Vlckova, Sylva Francova, Daniela Dostalkova, Barbora Balkova, Barbora Krejcova, Barbora Kuklikova, Martina Novozamska). A three-staged presentation is intended to introduce the works of the students of the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava, one of the highly appraised photography schools in Europe. Existing for almost 20 years, ITF was the school of many Polish artists, who now are teachers at higher schools, work as editors and photojournalists in the leading journals and magazines, curators, organizers of the photography festivals or managers in galleries of photography. The exhibition of the Polish students of the Opava School will also present the topics, formal and artistic threads of the art works “maturing” in this specific international microclimate under the supervision of the well known Czech teachers. It will be interesting to observe to what extent, in the era of the overwhelming globalisation, the personality and sensitivity moulded on the Polish ground is marked in the works of the Polish artists in comparison with the representatives of other nationalities.


Presentation of the Polish contemporary photography appears to be of equal importance. Within the framework of the main Polish programme we will see the works of individual artists and collective exhibitions, individual and collective of the renowned and making their debut artists. The Works will include among other things the subjective photography of Jerzy Lewczyński and Zdzisław Beksiński in the cooperation with Asymetria Gallery; “Anti-photographs” of Andrzej Różycki, various series of the pictures by Andrzej Lachowicz, sentimental landscapes of Stanisław Woś, “natural forms” by professor Witold Jacykow, and the stereoscope documents by Chris Niedenthal. The unique formula of preserving the archival documents in the artistic records of the Zorka Project groups will be presented by the “Karta” publishing house. In the “Outskirts of the Photographic Picture”, the three academics namely Stefan Wojnecki, Wojciech Prażmowski, and Mariusz Dąbrowski will present a broader post-media understanding and use of the photographic picture in their creative work. The young Polish photographers in addition to the post-competition exhibition will be represented by such artists as Beata Bajno, Magdalena Chudzicka, Monika Masłoń, Adam Kaczanowski & Aleksandra Sobolewska, Ada Dąbrowska-Lyons, Jagna Olejnikowska, and Jolanta Zuchniewicz; in addition the works of the already distinguished artists such as Klaudia Jastrzębska, Zuzanna Szarek, Aleksandra Wrońska, and Piotr Zbierski will be exhibited. Artinfo.pl and D. A. Rempex Gallery for the fifth time organise the Polish Collector Photography Auction where it will be possible to see and buy the works of the well known Polish photographers and artists. A workshop managed by Wojtek Wieteska will be organised at the Warsaw Uprising Museum, which will also provide the venue for a meeting with Chris Niedenthal.



The jury of the competition held its meeting on 9 March 2009 in the following composition:
professor Justine Price (Chair), Arts Department, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY;  Marta Przybyło-Ibadullajev, Editor, “Art & Business”; Paweł Łubowski, Editor-in-chief, “Artluk”;  Zbigniew Włodarski, editor-in-chief, “Foto” magazine;  professor Stanisław Wieczorek, Director, Instytutu Sztuki Mediów ASP [Media Arts Gallery of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts], Warszawa;  Mariusz Dąbrowski, Reader, doctor habilitated, ASP, Warszawa [Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts]

The jury awarded the prizes and distinguished the following participants: Grand Prix - Agnieszka Jaźwińska; 1st prize - Krzysztof Ćwiertniewski; 2nd prize - Magdalena Grela; 3rd prize - Kinga Kardynał;
Distinctions: Klaudia Jastrzębska, Magdalena Karpińska, Maciej Krajewski, Marta Perłowska, Monika Skierś, Maja Zembrzuska.
Additional awards in the form of an article published in an art magazine were awarded to:
 “Art&Business” - Agnieszka Jaźwińska; “Foto” - Monika Skierś; „Artluk” - Klaudia Jastrzębska.

Awards and distinctions founded by Canon, Art&Business, Foto, Artluk, Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego [The Warsaw Uprising Museum], will be presented during the official opening of the festival on
24 April (the exhibition shall be open through 19 May 2009)

The 5th WFFA’2009, will be composed of fifty events and will emphasise the diversified nature and formal, technical, content and topic complexity of the contemporary photography in the context of two countries of the Central and Eastern Europe. There is no one theme for the exhibition. Looking from the historical and contemporary perspective, it presents various attitudes, trends and conventions of the mature and young artists conscious of their history and pursuing the innovative aesthetic solutions drawing strongly from the tradition of avant-garde, conceptualism or postmodernism and their own thoughts. It presents the photographs as  an objective record of reality on one side and as the expression of the personal vision, intelligence and temperament on the other. Equally broadly and freely are treated the technical issues. The artists’ use of traditional tools in combination with the digital or computer techniques enables various ways of creation through the photography.
The juxtaposition of the Polish and Czech photography is intended to provide a broader discussion of the nature of photography as such in the context of art. We also hope that it will enrich our observations with the experiences of the country which for years has been perceived as the region making the most interesting and widest use of the benefits of this medium in Europe. The unattainable ways of propagating, promoting and archiving the achievements of the Czech photographers so efficiently realised by, among others, the Institute of Creative Photography of Silesian University in Opava and the Prague House of Photography are the examples to be followed.

The location of the exhibitions of the main programme of the Polish and Czech artists: Sztuka Mediów Gallery at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, Aspekt Gallery at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts; galleries and cultural institutions of the capital invited to co-operate: ART+on Contemporary Art Gallery D.A. Rempex, Asymetria Gallery, Luksfera Gallery, Klima Bocheńska Gallery at the former Vodka Distillery, Art NEW media Gallery, Ateneum Młodych Gallery, Stara Gallery of the Polish Union of Art Photographers, Obok Gallery of the Polish Union of Art Photographers, Green Gallery, Wyjście Awaryjne Gallery, Fabryka Koronek – Contemporary Art Gallery, Schody Gallery, SD Panorama Gallery, Delfina Gallery, Osrodek KARTA, Praskie Centrum Wystawowe [Praga Exhibition Centre], Wilanow Museum, Wilanow Poster Museum, the Warsaw Uprising Museum, Fotoplastikon Warszawski Gallery, cooperation with CSW Ujazdowski Castle [Contemporary Art Centre].

President of the Warsaw City – dr Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
Minister of Culture and National Heritage – Bogdan Zdrojewski
Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Warsaw –  Jan Sechter
Rector of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts – Professor Ksawery Piwocki
Director of the Czech Centre - Pavla Foglova

us Embassy, Harenda Hotel, Czech Centre, Canon

Czech Centre in Warsaw
Embassy of the Czech Republic in Warsaw
Institute of Creative Photography of Silesian University in Opava
Photography Schools and Fine Arts Schools in Warsaw and Poland
Warsaw galleries and cultural institutions
 KTR Festival
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Noc Muzeów [Museum Night]

Instytut Sztuki Mediów Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Warszawie [Media Arts Gallery of the
Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts]
Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Warszawie [Society of Friends of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts]

Festival curator: Magdalena Durda-Dmitruk (www.wffa.pl)
Artistic supervision: Mariusz Dąbrowski, doctor habilitated
Marketing specialist: Kaja Makacewicz


Media patronage:
Art&Business, Artinfo.pl, Artluk, Exit, fotopolis.pl, Foto, Format, Dziennik, Independent.pl, Obieg, Radio Kampus, sztuka.pl, TVN Warszawa, The Warsaw Voice, mediaart magazine, Polskie Radio Euro

V Warszawski Festiwal Fotografii Artystycznej 2009