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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » February 6, 2008
CRACOW
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Alternative Take on Cracow
February 6, 2008   
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Foreign artists reveal their take on Cracow in an exhibition entitled Save from Oblivion at the city's International Cultural Center (MCK) Gallery.

A photographic competition under the same name was established by Leszek Dziedzic in 1977. The Society of Lovers of Cracow's History and Heritage organized the competition for many years, and now after a two-year interval it has been revived by the MCK, taking on an international character. For the first time we can see the city from the perspective of artists from Germany, Canada, Finland and Australia.

The photographs are divided into several sections: Sense and Sensitivity, Arrivals and Departures, Lost Mohicans, More Than Streets, Absences, and I am a Man of the City.

Maja Merzog-Majewska, the chair of the latest competition's panel of judges, said the idea of the contest was not to show Cracow as "a postcard" or as a tourist attraction. The idea was to depict a modern Cracow, one that is little known and a city that is disappearing, as well as the less attractive and the more controversial aspects of the city.

Joanna Gorlach won first prize in the competition for a series of photographs entitled "Płaszów" that show the site of a former Nazi concentration camp, now empty but imbued with historical significance.

Joanna Radłowska received second prize for her pictures of the old Bonarka chemical factory site. A very different mood is evident in the photos of the everyday life of monks, for which Norbert Roztocki was awarded third prize.

The beautifully presented exhibition at the MCK Gallery brings together 100 of the latest competition entries with archival, black-and-white photographs from the 1970s and '80s. This shows the changes that have occurred over time in art as well as changes in Cracow itself.

The photographs take on extra meaning with the inclusion of quotes from the poetry of famous Cracow poets, such as Adam Zagajewski, Bronisław Maj, Michał Zabłocki, and excerpts from books in which the plot is set in Cracow, for example a crime novel by Marcin Świetlicki.

Edyta Gajewska

International Cultural Center Gallery in Cracow, 25 Rynek Główny, until March 2.

Entry free.

More information at www.mck.krakow.pl
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