ShowOFF Section is another equally important part of the festival which is presenting premiere projects by young artists selected through an open competition. They have worked on the final shape of their exhibitions under the watchful eye of recognized specialists in the visual arts.
May 2018 will mark a decade since the inaugural ShowOFF exhibitions originally opened. So much has changed since then: the walls of coffeehouses upon which those initial exhibitions were mounted were soon replaced by those of small galleries and, eventually, the postindustrial spaces which have become a ShowOFF trademark. The very name of the competition itself has changed, too, with the OFF Program evolving into the ShowOFF Section. And, finally, the submission process has become more efficient, with the clunkiness of Word applications and zipped photo attachments giving way to the streamlined picter.com platform.
Yet one central element of the ShowOFF ethos and mission has remained unchanged over the intervening years: the programme remains committed to the promotion and dissemination of the work of promising visual artists making their debuts on the stage of international photography. A decade in, we are now able to trace the arc of the section’s success in this regard, as even a partial list of notable ShowOFF debutants would have to include creators such as Michał Łuczak, Diana Lelonek, Dominika Gęsicka, Michał Siarek, Weronika Gęsicka, and Terje Abusdal, all of whom have since gone on to establish themselves as visual artists to be reckoned with, gaining recognition both across Poland and beyond.