Print Triennial Kraków

Exhibition

International Print Triennial Cracow exhibition of selected works

Friday 4 February — Wednesday 23 February 2005

Millenáris Park and Polish Institute

MTG Krakow 2003 Main Exhibition was presented in Győr in Autumn 2004. After the exposition in Györ exhibition entitled "MTG Krakow Pays a Visit to Hungary" is shown in Millenium Park, Duna Gallery and Vigado Gallery in Budapest.

Also, the Polish Institute in Budapest shows selected pieces of the exhibition (14 February - 18 March 2005).

In 1966 the International Print Biennial was established in Krakow. It has been for a long time a sole open competition of contemporary print art in Eastern Europe. In 1991 this event started to function it in three year cycle and has been organized since than by the newly established Inter national Print Triennial Society in Krakow.
The year 2006 will mark 40 years of the existence of the International Print Triennial.

Official webpage: www.triennial.cracow.pl

Witold Skulicz, the President of the International Print Triennial Society in Krakow:

„In a way, printmaking wins the space of new reality, maintaining the rhythm and stability of the evolution, drawing from the contemporary whatever it pleases and in the quantities it chooses. The processes of globalisation spread into all fields and made their mark also on the realm of culture. That is why changes affect also the language of printwhich conforms the omnipresent art of design and photography. We shall see what this means for the future of printmaking once we have crossed the bridge that not only art but the whole civilisation has started to cross. „

Three years have passed and I am reading these words with a touch of melancholy. The Proustian sensation of grief over the bygone reinforces the opinion that neither the words nor the assessment were fully accurate. In its frenetic rush, time outdid all forecasts and predictions. Today, I would not say that printmaking draws from the contemporary whatever it pleases in the quantities it chooses. The world it currently exists in has developed mechanisms that curb the freedom of such choises. The harbingers of digital technology entering exhibition spaces have started global confrontation throughout the whole broad range of creative experiments. There is even more to it: it seems that this ttime the practice repeated by printmaking many a time before – when an approaching surf of new ideas or trends forms into seemingly menacing aand foaming breakers to be lost later, plunged into the matterof art that continues the interrupted rhythm of evolution – will not repeat again. At that time, these were ideas and controversies inside the world of art: family tiers of no deeper background or bearing. Now, the tidal wave of digital in the art of print is but a small element of global changes the general system of values.

Whether we want it or not, our eyes will look at the world in another way and the things perceived will change their focus into a different one. In the incessant information noise, they register only the most powerful stimuli. Will there be space in this world for the reflexive perception of the work of art, a perception that establishes a partycular type of empathic communication. Let me quote what a recognised theoretician of art, Francisco Torrez, recently wrote that ideology is no longer the vehicle for the changes, as these are the result of the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies. The world was changed by the television, later by the computer, and now it is being changed by the Internet – all of these are in a way connected with that certain unclear idea of freedom and democracy mysteriously controlled by the panacea known as the market. Does this mean death of printmaking, as a journalist asked me. Yet it is not so: though a paradox it is, the whole world of printmakinghas become the meeting place of powerful media streams: photography, design and print, which in the violent confrontation and transfer establish the language of print of the new century, new functions, a new system of values. There is, however something more to the globalisation, namelyy an immeasurable wave of commercialisation, which has discovered new horrendous forms of exploitingthose areasof art that havenothing to do with ethics and general goodwill towards the world we live in.

There are „Print on Demand” offers on the Internet: thousands of images can be ordered in unlimited editions. You can choose from among plenty of on-line artists offering whole series of works on any subject. Can we still say that the artist has a personality? Internet, which has opened the possibility of sneaking a look at the world to an incredible extent, makes it not only possible to see the chambers of the Louvre or rooms of the MOMA in New York but also the very, very dark and unfortunately broad area where art has been debased. At the same time, these experiences build the image of new functions of regular international exhibitions not unlike this Triennial and at the same time explain the – all in all – extraordinary phenomenon of such events that operate in abundance in various places of the world: of events that attract thousands of artists pay no heed to the high costs of creation and postage of prints, and to the risk of failure to qualify.

I think that there is one answer: in the world of printmaking, these events are the islands of pure, selfless art, and thousands of artists seek there the fulfilment of thheir creative dreams. If this is true, our efforts to let these events survive grow to the rank of a mission worth devoting your life to.

Witold Skulicz
President
International Print Triennial Society in Krakow