Trieste Contemporanea november 2000 n.6/7

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by Alessandra Knowles

The cultural ferment that has always enlivened the city of Cracow, and that found in the Cracow 2000 Festival the way to express to the full its potentiality, has its origins in an artistic tradition so lively that not even real socialism managed to bend it to the interests of the regime. A significant witness to this is the foundation in 1960 of the National Print Biennial, internationalised in 1964 to become one of the most important competitions of its kind in the world. Founded following the transfer of master print-makers from Warsaw to Cracow soon after the war, the then Biennial acquired over the years independence and growing fame, allowing for a constant flow of artistic works and ideas from all over the world. Following the great change of 1989, the Biennial was enriched by new content and transformed into the present Triennial, whose works have in recent years been displayed in various cities of the world: Graz, Taiwan, Rio de Janeiro, Kanawa. This year’s Triennial, with the emblematic title “A Bridge to the Future” has centred on the relationship between past and future, taking its cue from the significant passing from the second to the third millennium. The exhibition of the selected works, presented in September, was followed by the showing of works by young Polish print-makers under the title “Recommendations - Young Polish Printmaking”. A notable contribution to the lively artistic production of the city comes from the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts which, in addition to offering an artistic education still considered to be amongst the most complete and rigorous, does its utmost to promote its students both at the local level, by means of a circuit of city galleries, and at the international level through a network of contacts with foreign academies which has been consolidated in the context of the European projects such as Socrates-Erasmus, Cumulus and the like.



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