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.

Symposium Programme

  • Registration and coffee09.00–10.00
  • Welcome

  • Iris Sikking


    Introduction of the 16th edition of Krakow Photomonth—Space of Flows: Framing an Unseen Reality

  • Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger


    Introduction of the book Why Exhibit: Provoking Questions about Exhibiting (Extended) Photography (launched autumn 2018)

  • Panel I: On collectives and collaboration


    Lars Willumeit, Nicoló Degiorgis, Michał Łuczak, Krzysztof Pijarski (chair)

  • Coffee break
  • Panel II: On archives and collections


    Karolina Puchała-Rojek, Agnieszka Rayss, Anna Tellgren, Taco Hidde Bakker (chair)

  • Lunch
  • Panel III: On the photographic image in digital culture


    Jules Spinatsch, Doris Gassert, Susan Schuppli, Krzysztof Pijarski (chair)

  • Coffee break
  • Panel IV: On audiences and interaction


    Lisa Barnard, Taco Hidde Bakker, Krzysztof Pijarski, Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger (chair)

  • Closing words


  • End of symposium
  • Hubert Francuz


    Presentation—Museum of Photography in Krakow

  • Drinks in the garden
  • Building closes


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.