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The exhibition ‘Photo-graphics. Artistic Photography in Poland 1927-1978’ is the first museum presentation of the historical artistic trend in Polish photography. To present this phenomenon as fully as possible, nearly 150 original photographic prints from the collections of Poland’s most important museums and private collectors have been gathered at MuFo Rakowicka in Cracow.
A comprehensive arrangement of such a large number of exhibits in the temporary exhibition space of MuFo Rakowicka required grouping them into conceptual clouds and presenting the defined sets with a distinct spatial layout. The most effective composition turned out to be the one dividing the exhibition space into semi-open ‘rooms’ , each of which was dedicated to a different sub-theme of the exhibition. The specific thematic zones were distinguished by their form, color and finish materiality, referring to solutions found in historical photo albums.
‘The Two Manifestos’ zone, which started the exhibition narrative and presented the works of Jan Bułhak and Edward Hartwig, was distinguished by the specific, haptic materiality. Both the exhibition walls and the display case were covered with natural canvas that emphasized the atmosphere of the exhibited photographs. Also the ‘Them, Women’ zone, located at the end of the exhibition space, presented the chosen works against a textile background. The heavy navy blue curtain provided an interesting closure to the exhibition, while bending of the curtain emphasized the newly divided layout of the exhibition space.
In the other zones of the ‘Photo-graphics’ exhibition successive display cases, shelves or spatial displays were distinguished by the color of the respective zone. The proposed forms of étalage introduced spatial tensions and differentiated the dynamics of the curatorial narrative.