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Łódź: Fotofestiwal 2017: DASZ WIARĘ? / CAN YOU IMAGINE?

June 1, 2017 - June 11, 2017

fotofestiwal 2017 can you imagine

16th edition of the International Festival of Photography in Łódź – Fotofestiwal 2017.

New realities, quasi-biographies, weird, unbelievable worlds. This year, Fotofestiwal has invited artists who use fiction to comment on “here and now”. They will draw you into a game, where boundaries between the real and the unreal are no longer so obvious. Hence the title of the 16th edition of Fotofestiwal: “DASZ WIARĘ?/ CAN YOU IMAGINE?”. On 1-11 June in Łódź, apart from exhibitions, we will organize events in the urban space, the Grand Prix finale, a new portfolio review, screenings of films, workshops, exhibitions of photography books, attractions for children.   

Fotofestiwal is one of the most significant photography events in this part of Europe. For many years now, the Foundation of Visual Education and the City of Łódź have been inviting photographers from all over the world to present their works in exhibitions visited by thousands of viewers. Fotofestiwal is an opportunity for the audience to discover the most interesting phenomena of contemporary photography, for photographers to broaden their knowledge during workshops and the portfolio review, while children will get to know how to watch and take photos.



This year the viewers will face imagined realities and participate in a game in which they will no longer be just passive observers. The artists who participate in “Dasz wiarę? / Can you Imagine?” say: don’t believe photography, ask questions, be an attentive observer.

Dialogue with the audience of “Dasz wiarę?/ Can you imagine?” is strengthened by subtle, (un)real installations by Noémie Goudal and the latest project called Provisional Arrangements authored by Martin Kollar, a renowned absurd seeker.

The curator’s exhibition will be prepared by one of the most intriguing artists of the young generation – Augustin Rebetez. He is known for his signature black birds, human-like creatures and incredible structures that have made appearance  in the minimalist gallery halls of, among others, Berlin, Paris, Lausanne, Arles, Mexico City or Montreal. “Trash cans for hearts and people have no soul. A chorus exhibition curated by Augustin Rebetez” is more than a photography exhibition – it is a total artistic universe, which Rebetez creates together with sixteen other artists, including David Favrod (Grand Prix Fotofestiwal 2014 winner) and Christian Patterson, Birthe Piontek, Reiner Riedler and Yumiko Utsu.

The team of curators will present the set of works authored by the master of artistic mystification – Joan Fontcuberta. This will be the first in Poland presentation of such a big collection of works by one of the best known artists, curators and theoreticians of photography. Fontcuberta’s works have been presented in the most renowned arts institutions in the world. In Łódź, we will see three of his projects: Fauna, Herbarium, Constellations which have significantly influenced the understanding of contemporary photography. Herbarium and Constellations introduce us into the fantasy world of quasi-botany and pseudo-astronomy. Fauna is a seemingly documentary project about research conducted by an unknown biologist, who discovers new animal species. A snake with centipede’s legs or a monkey having a body of a horse are only examples of what Fontcubert “captured”. It could change the history of science… if only it was real.

This year’s Fotofestiwal theme will also be reflected in the photo book exhibition and selected film screenings. However, Fotofestiwal is not only about the world of fiction – the NOOR agency, known for its strictly documentary photography, will organize workshops for photographers and the celebration of its 10th anniversary.



The Festival begins on the International Children’s Day, therefore the first part of opening will be dedicated to the younger audience who, with a glass of delicious carrot juice, will be welcomed by the curators and artists. Then, the festival audience will get to know the results of Grand Prix Fotofestiwal 2017 – an annual competition presenting the most interesting phenomena of contemporary photography. Out of ten finalists, the winner will be announced, who will receive the prize of PLN 10 000. The competition works will be presented in the exhibitions and slideshows in the urban space.

During the second weekend of the Festival (9-11.06) a spectacular, large-format, show of photos from the archives of Veolia Energia Łódź – THE ENERGY OF TIME. 110 YEARS OF POWER INDUSTRY IN ŁÓDŹ will be presented at Piotrkowska street. Wiktor Jekimenko, the author, documented the development and operation of the EC1 plant in Łódź. This archive includes group portraits of its employees and the photos of Łódź from the beginning of the previous century.

The events taking place at Piotrkowska street will be accompanied by the happening by a Berlin-based collective of street artists, Mentalgassi, who will situate portraits of Łódź citizens in rather surprising locations of the city’s high street.

It is also going to be the weekend of film screenings (thanks to partnership with Transatlantyk Film Festival): premieres of most interesting documentaries about photography (among others, about Josef Koudelka and Robert Frank) and some works that are a result of the search for a new film form that includes photography: premiere of Ascent by visual artist Fiona Tan, or short photo-films presented earlier at the Les Nuits Photographie festival.


The 16th edition of Fotofestiwal includes also:

ACCOMPANYING EXHIBITIONS prepared by the galleries of Łódź, including the individual exhibition of works by the star of Dutch photography – Viviane Sassen; the individual exhibition of works by Rafał Milach at Atlas Sztuki, and the latest project by Przemek Dzienis.

BOOK EXHIBITIONS: Kassel Dummy Award 2017 and the competition for the best Polish photography book – Photo Publication of the Year 2016.

FOTOFESTIWAL KIDS – workshops for the youngest ones, guided walks around exhibitions and a playground where parents may leave their children under care, while they themselves can see the exhibitions.

as well as:

Evening slideshows, events, meetings with authors and guided walks. In the main festival centre (Art_Inkubator) and around the city there will be a great deal of places where you can rest, eat and drink.


Fotofestiwal is co-financed by the City of Lodz Office and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.


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Anioł Wyrozębski, Lokal, Fotofestiwal2017

Anioł Wyrozębski, Lokal, Fotofestiwal2017