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Opava, Dům umění, Pekařská 12, June 22 – August 20, 2006

The exhibition is organised by the Institute of Creative Photography of the Faculty of Philosophy and Science, Silesian University in Opava, in cooperation with the  House of Art in Opava and  with financial supportfrom the Silesian University in Opava, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Staturory Town of Opava, the Statutory Town of Ostrava, the Moravian-Silesian Region, the State Cultural Fund of the Czech Republic, and the companies FotoŠkoda, Canon CZ and My Hotel.

Selection of photographs for the exhibition and catalogue: Vladimír Birgus
Graphic design of the catalogue: Otakar Karlas, Barbora Kuklíková
Catalogue (228 pages) published by Silesian Universty and KANT.

Over the past fifteen years the Institute of Creative Photography has changed beyond recognition. When the Silesian University was founded in 1991, many were sceptical, given that the Institute had for twenty years been part of the Association of Czech Photographers and that the method of study was distance learning. Today, however, the university is among leaders of six Czech further education institutions that offer photography as an independent field of study. During the past fifteen years the ICP's teaching staff has grown considerably, and the current nine permanent and ten visiting members of staff include a number of eminent photographers and photographic theorists. In the early days of the Silesian University none of the staff members had achieved senior academic qualifications, but the teaching staff now numbers one professor and three associate professors. Students used to have to provide all their own photographic equipment, but they are now able to use well-equipped studios, dark rooms and a computer room, and can also borrow professional cameras. There has been a sharp increase in the number of course applicants - this year almost three hundred applicants took the entrance exams, a record in our short history of photographic education. While at the beginning of the 1990s ICP students were almost all Czech and Slovak, today almost a third are foreign. Most are Poles and Slovaks, but there have also been students from Germany, the US, Italy, France, Croatia, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The most important thing, however, are the results of study, and what graduates go on to achieve. This exhibition is designed to provide something of a survey in this regard. Although it is the largest exhibition ever mounted by the Institute of Creative Photography, it is one of a number of public displays of the work of ICP students and graduates. It follows on in particular from two extensive exhibitions, ICP 25/5 in 1996, and ICP – Degree Work 1998-2003, which after premiering in Opava were shown in a number of Czech, Polish and Slovak cities.

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