Cracow Art Week is an evolution of the project named Cracow Gallery Weekend KRAKERS which since 2012 has been promoting contemporary art in the area of Krakow, creating a platform for communication, education, information and promotion and a meeting place for independent art centers and city residents. 4 years ago the organizers of the Cracow Gallery Weekend decided to transform the well-known KRAKERS into a week-long event.
Now we are entering the second decade of our activity. Last year’s 10th anniversary inspired us to choose a theme that would be associated with a new opening and a bold look into the future. Thus, the theme of the 11th edition is: “We are multitude”. The event will be held on June 10 – 17, 2022.
Multitude has been with us from the very first weekend edition. It manifests itself in the idea of open access: open and free access, inviting academic and experimental entities as well as conservative and progressive ones and also – openness and diversity which are the fundamental ideas of the project. From the very beginning, the event has been inspiring the contemporary art community to open up to a wide audience, to show the multitude of points of view, thoughts, ideas and concepts. During this time KRAKERS became the largest event of this type in Poland, with the most diverse program focusing on making what is most up-to-date and valuable in Polish visual arts more accessible. Organizing KRAKERS in such an important cultural center as Krakow, we manage the entire artistic scene of the city with its diversity for a week.
So how do you try to define a slogan that will accompany events and exhibitions this year? Attempting to precisely define multitude is not easy, especially in the field of art and creation – it is an ongoing process. The researcher Sybille Peters suggests that “the multitude came into being at the moment when the bubble of individualism burst (…), the multitude is also those who collectively produce the goods of living together, (…) organize themselves horizontally rather than vertically”. [ŻP1] As for Mikołaj Ratajczak: “the multitude are the subjects of broadly understood work – intangible work”.
Multitude is a phrase that appears in the academic discourse today. Like a lens, it brings together and focuses on all ideas behind Cracow Art Week, it illuminates and resonates with every aspect of creation, action and existence. It defines a multiplicity of artistic attitudes, allows you to invite and show many new artists in an open and inclusive manner and draw attention to various aspects and creative possibilities. Art that is communal and participatory invites, educates, promotes and extends the framework of influence. Everywhere where there is a creative thought, there is also multitude that is worth showing and widely promoting. Multitude, community, sharing. The need for them is echoed in discussions and is an integral part of creative activities.
Every year, several hundred artists and curators create a program consistent with the theme that connects, focuses on and highlights the artistic processes taking place in galleries, studios, pop-up places, cellars and attics. A particularly important mission lies in the competition section of the Laboratory, which aims to increase the possibilities of self-organization of individual artists and collectives. It is dedicated to those who do not own and use permanent venues or places, but still want to improve their competences and engage in the process of creating conditions for exhibitions and cultural events. The result of this section is the creation of new valuable initiatives, some of which would also function after the end of Cracow Art Week as cyclical or permanent projects in the cultural map of Krakow.