Symposium – 16–17.11.2019


This year, the Krakow Art Salon will take a particular interest in being social and social life in general. By taking a closer look at the 19th-century salons run by ladies of the house throughout Europe, we will consider the significance of social life for art. We follow the fashion trends guiding aesthetic choices in subsequent eras, turning towards private patrons of arts, who decided to live and work among the works of contemporaneous artists. The interest in what is born at the intersection of social and artistic life has also led us to the post-war symposiums, the purpose of which was to enable intellectual exchange between artists. These usually short meetings filled to the brim with actual content shaped the landscape of artistic life at the time – symposiums featured lectures and debates about current issues, while becoming arenas of intensive social life.

The first day of the meeting will be devoted to the issue of representation in the Polish art world – we will ask museum directors and representatives of galleries, as well as creative association about whom – or what kind of vision of contemporary art – do they represent. Sunday will be devoted to debates about being social and social life, as well as their influence on art. All events will be held at the Palace of Art and admission will be free of charge.


Representative Saturday – 16.11.2019

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
discussion panel: Representation – what does it actually mean?

Before a work by an artist finds its way to a private or public collection, or before it is deemed an element of cultural heritage, it passes through many hands – it gets described by critics, presented by museums and galleries, watched by art aficionados and advisors. What does “representing an artist” mean these days? Does the issue of representation only concern financial issues and the image? Artists are often “represented” by commercial entities, as well as non-governmental organisations and public institutions with various goals and missions. We will talk about the road the work of art must complete before it can appear in artistic circulation, as well as various forms of representation with representatives of galleries, foundations and creative associations promoting art, as well as representing individual artists, artistic circles and ideas.

Moderator: Martyna Nowicka

Participants: Janusz Janowski (President of ZPAP, Warsaw), Karolina Nowak-Sarbińska (art advisor), Joanna Rzepka-Dziedzic (Szara Gallery, Katowice), Aleksander Wawrzyniak (Art Estate Management)


6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
discussion panel: Museum – a narrator of contemporary tales

The exhibitions organised by the largest Polish museums have an impact on what their audiences know about art, including contemporary art. During the panel discussion, we will ask the directors of Polish institutions about the image of art that they create thanks to their exhibition programmes. Do they showcase works by young artists or even art school students? Or perhaps they rather focus on presenting artists with a well-established standing in the art world? How do they see their role in creating culture-forming processes, writing the history of contemporary art, co-creating the art market? What influence do their personal preferences have on the choice of works purchased for museum collections? What is the role of museums in representing individual artists, circles and ideas?
Moderator: Justyna Nowicka (Radio Kraków)
Participants: Maria Anna Potocka (MOCAK), Jarosław Suchan (Museum of Art in Łódź), Andrzej Szczerski (appointed director of the National Museum in Kraków)


Social Sunday – 17.11.2019

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
discussion panel: Socialites, savoir-vivre and salon owners – is there life beyond salons?

Salons– including private ones – have a long-running history, their own savoir-vivre and their hierarchies. The way they were organised strongly resonated with the context of political systems and social structures in which they were established. The concept of the salon can be perceived as a formula of an exhibition, as well as a reflection of social hierarchies, in which the symbolic capital of individual’s networking builds their standing and identity. Is there an alternative to the existing rules? How to build one’s professional position on personal terms? Is it possible to bypass the existing “salon” constructs and structures?
Moderator: Aga Kozak (Gazeta Wyborcza, Institute of Good Life)

Participants: Bartłomiej Dobroczyński (psychologist), Anna Gabryś (author of the book Salony Krakowskie) Magdalena Kownacka and Gaweł Kownacki (Krakow Art Salon), Robert Kuśmirowski (artist), Karol Palczak (artist, winner of the 2019 Krakow Art Salon Grand Prix)


4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
discussion panel: Contemporary social life – community or business strategy?

Culture management, as well as processes of creating artistic events often reduce art to concepts such as project, objectives, results and efficiency. Can effective management go hand in hand with artistic experimentation? Can activities based on communities and social life become an alternative or partner for hierarchical structures of businesses and public institutions? Does contemporary art have the potential to influence reality and create values that will not be appropriated by the market? Or maybe we need to take a look at the relationship between art and business from a completely different perspective?

Moderator: Monika Sady (Cracow University of Economics)
Participants: Kamila Bondar (ING Polish Art Foundation), Małgorzata Gołębiewska (Cracow Art Week KRAKERS), Zofia Koźniewska (Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts)


5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
lecture: Social life and avant-garde

A lecture by Anna Budzałek, curator of the “Here Comes Youth. The First Krakow Group” exhibition (National Museum in Krakow).


6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
discussion panel: Social life as a tool of a contemporary artist

It can start in a variety of ways. Sometimes a group of artists listens to similar music, sometimes it starts with a problem, and sometimes they simply stumble upon each other and come up with an idea that it would be swell to do something together. Contemporary Krakow has no shortage of phenomena that arise from shared activity – an alternative centre of contemporary art, an open studio or a place for team projects. This will be a debate with artists – initiators of collective activities, focusing on the importance of such initiatives for their work, various models of collective work and their influence on contemporary culture.

Moderator: Arkadiusz Półtorak

Participants: Bogusław Bachorczyk (Nasz ogródek), Monika Drożyńska (Szkoła Haftu dla Pań i Panów Złote Rączki), Karolina Jabłońska / Tomasz Kręcicki / Cyryl Polaczek (Potencja collective, Łałok magazine, Potencja film team), Arek Dec/Karolina Jarzębak / Tomasz Nowak (Jak Zapomnieć Gallery), Bartolomeo Koczenasz (CSW Wiewiórka)