Month of Photography in Bratislava opens in November 2016

As usual the most important event of the 26th Month of Photography will not be one of the exhibitions, it will be an accompanying event. After ten years of work, we have managed to complete a three-volume project on the history of European photography in the 20th century. Six books, more than 2,400 pages of text and nearly 1,000 photographs provide the most comprehensive view ever of the evolution and transformation of this technical media. We hope that we have managed to break definitively the tradition in historical texts to take only into account the cultures of economically strong countries. Our books show that the photographic cultural heritage of Europe is far richer than previously claimed. Within the main program of the festival, we have included works, personalities and themes which, through familiarity, will definitely enrich not only a narrow circle of specialists, but undoubtedly they will also address an audience which appreciates the visual arts. The first group includes exhibitions that are directly linked to the premiere of the third volume of The History of European Photography 1970 – 2000. Large group exhibitions: Italian Photography 1930 – 1970 and The Treasures of Czech Photography (from the collections of the Prague City Gallery) offer works by personalities who are considered by historians the key authors of the second half of the 20th century. Retrospective of Chema Madoz: Chema Madoz is a Spanish photographer whose photographs grace the cover of the last volume of our history; he brings to Bratislava a unique combination of playfulness and surrealistic free spiritedness, but yet, a contemplative quality. Certainly this category must also include a unique presentation of the photographic creation by Rudo Sikora, one of the most important personalities of Slovak art in the 20th century. This exhibition is also connected to the second branch of the festival which is dedicated to the photography of ideas; art work that puts equal emphasis on the visual aspect of the work as its intellectual richness. Therefore, we also chose the work of Russian author Katharina Bubnova and other authors in a collective exhibition on emigration, Looking for Clouds. At the opposite pole are works and exhibitions that tell stories; photographs that emphasize emotion and the epic. From Czech photography we have chosen the work by Jindřich Štreit, and from the world scene we have chosen a selection of the best journalistic photography within the competitive exhibition of the Sony World Photography Awards 2016. As every year, Slovak photography also plays an important role in the 26th Month of Photography. Among several Slovak exhibitions, we would like to draw attention to the discovery of the work by the priest, BéLa Petrik, who, along Slovakia-Hungarian border, assiduously recorded the customs and daily life of a village during the transition from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the newly created Czechoslovakia. This discovery will certainly alter the profile of the history of Slovak photography in the early 20th century.

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