The city of Cologne has been closely linked with photography for many decades. photokina has already been taking place in Cologne since 1950. Founded as an industry meeting for photography (photo) and cinematography (kina), it is today the world’s most important platform for the entire imaging industry. At the same time, it has always performed a cultural task: one of its fathers, L. Fritz Gruber, founded the tradition during photokina of organising world class image exhibitions on the fair grounds and in the city. photokina (26-29 September 2018) and the International Photoszene Festival (21-30 September 2018) will this year once again be the prestigious meeting points for artists and visitors from the whole world.
‘The most beautiful city in the world is looking forward to the largest and oldest photography event in Germany‘ – the Photoszene Cologne promotes participation in the renowned festival boldly and with a sense of humour at its Facebook page. It can casually regard other festivals currently engaged in a competition of superlatives. “Involvement with photography has a long tradition in Cologne and is an entirely specific venue feature”, explains Heide Häusler, COO of Photoszene, and adds: “The many actors of the city locally anchor the most important international exchange of ideas on the importance of the medium and breathe life into it. The photography discourse is no mere marketing construct, but has in fact been going on here for decades.”
For the city of Cologne, the Photoszene Festival is a highlight of the cultural calendar: In 2016 the festival announced more than 100 exhibitions in the city area, thus reaching more than 100,000 visitors (over the period of the exhibitions). photokina has already been supporting the festival for decades as a partner, and will be intensifying this cooperation even further in future. “We have the ambition of creating an attractive cultural offering around the image both before and during photokina. It only makes sense for us to jointly pursue this goal together with an internationally renowned art event like the Photoszene Festival“, says Christoph Menke, Director of photokina.
Just as consistent is the organising of the two events parallel: like the photokina, the Photoszene Festival will also take place annually in future and in May as of 2019. Entirely new as of 2018/2019 is the “Photoszene Residency” programme Artist meets Archive: six international artists will dig into the high quality photography collections and archives in September 2018, in order to use this as the basis for a conception of their own exhibition in the respective museum for the festival in May 2019. It has already been possible to win Erik Kessels (Netherlands) for the Cologne museum of applied arts (MAKK), Ola Kolehmainen (Finland) for the Rhenish image archive (RBA), Ronit Porat (Israel) for the Kölnisches Stadtmuseum, Fiona Tan (Netherlands/India) for the Museum Ludwig, Antje van Wichelen (Belgium) for the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum and Roselyne Titaud (France) for Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur.
Things are also getting closer together in logistical terms: on 26 September there will be a shuttle bus running between the MAKK and photokina for participants of the festival.
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Koelnmesse is an international leader in organising trade fairs in the Digital Media, Entertainment and Mobility segments. Trade fairs like photokina, dmexco, gamescom, INTERMOT and THE TIRE COLOGNE are established as leading international trade fairs and are being expanded by future-oriented formats like DIGILITY. Koelnmesse not only organises trade fairs in these areas in Cologne, but also in other growth markets like, for example, China, Singapore and Thailand, which have different areas of focus and content. These global activities offer customers of Koelnmesse tailor-made events in different markets, which guarantee sustainable and international business.