The publication The (Un)becomings of Photography is not a straightforward festival catalogue. It hybridizes and expands on many of the underlying thematics of the festival, reflecting them within the dimensions of the printed page. The book consists of a collection of essays and visual inserts, as well as an “anti-glossary” of photography and visual culture. These works come from a group of international scholars, curators, and practitioners of photography, most of them specially commissioned or presented as first-time publications.
It thereby aims at making available to a wide audience a broad range of state-of-the-art rethinkings of the multifaceted nature of the photographic complex. Structurally, historical and theoretical arguments about a variety of institutions of the photographic are juxtaposed with three sets of three artist inserts each, presenting a broad range of artistic practices and research strategies that engage the “becomings” and “unbecomings” of photography, and its discursive and exhibitionary complex, in both images and words.
The institutions of the university and the museum—as key sites of learning and practice, of knowledge and theory production, but also of preservation and canonization—are the focus of the contributions by John Tagg and Duncan Forbes. In addition to these institutional contexts, Annekathrin Kohout’s text focuses on the digital domain as a site to analyze the order of images. In their delightful “anti-glossary,” on the other hand, Federica Chiocchetti and Lisa Stein propose sixty-nine buzzwords that feed into current photographic discourses and issues of visual culture. For the Polish context, Adam Mazur takes a look at recent developments in artistic and institutional practice. Finally, Iris Sikking follows medial and narrative expansions in forms of visual storytelling, providing a preliminary typology of these emerging genres of journalistic and/or artistic practice.
The nine invited artists and collectives are Discipula, #Dysturb, Paul Graham, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Klara Källström and Thobias Fäldt, Yann Mingard, Max Pinckers, Sputnik Photos, and Werker Magazine. Together they make up the main festival program; each used their ten pages as a space to lay out their images and ideas on photography. Some reacted to this carte blanche purely with images, and some with elaborate text/image constellations; all, in one way or another, reflect on their own practice of photography as a visual thinking process.
This publication accompanies the 14th edition of the Krakow Photomonth Festival.