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Galeria Bezdomna/Homeless Gallery

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The idea for the GALERIA BEZDOMNA or it's English translation HOMELESS GALLERY was born in the minds of two well-known in Polish photographers - Tomek Sikora and Andrzej Swietlik. HOMELESS - because it has no permanent address; it appears for a short while, after which it disappears, only to reappear again in a completely different place. It appears wherever a place becomes available that can give photography a home for a short while.
The idea of organizing such an exhibition is extremely simple. First we look for a good location (empty factories, buildings before reconstruction work, and any other empty places). Then we arrange with the owners if, and for how long, we can arrange an exhibition in the chosen place. It is important that the location is lent to us for free, for the simple reason that the HOMELESS GALLERY functions with absolutely no funds. Next, through the grapevine, we send information to potential participants. Where possible, we use the Media to spread the news.

All those interested are asked to contact us via e-mail - we can then add them to our contact list so that they can learn all the details, and they will be notified too about forthcoming editions of the Gallery. Edit TextThe whole idea of the HOMELESS GALLERY is that there are no entry criteria. What is eventually shown during an exhibition depends solely on the participants own self-censorship. For a start, we do not pick the participants: everybody can show their work, be they star photographers, professionals, those just starting in photography, students and amateurs. Secondly, we do not select their work either - we have no demands as to subject, technique, format or number of photographs shown. The photographs themselves can be shown in gilt frames, or just prints stuck on the wall.

On the day chosen for the opening all the participants arrive with their photographs and an assortment of equipment needed to hang them - be that a hammer and nails, double-sided adhesive tape and any other types of sticking materials, string, wire or whatever. Everybody then finds a piece of wall for themselves (or ceiling, or floor), and hangs their work. We like to see all sorts of unconventional forms of display - during the first edition in Warsaw, photographs were hung off ladders, steel frames, on bathroom tiles, stair bannisters, or were simply placed in potato crates.

When the hammers fall silent and everything is ready - then comes the time for the Opening. At the agreed time, all the participants arrive with their personal guests. Everybody, if they so wish, can bring something to treat their guests with. And then comes the general integration.

For the entire duration of the exhibition, the participants take turns to watch over the gallery. Everybody must find time to take his/her turn at looking after their own - and the others - work. Before the opening we also appeal for volunteers to clean up the gallery. On the final day of the exhibition we hold a closing ceremony: a repeat of the Opening. After that, everybody takes down their work and returns home with their photographs.

And that's more or less how it works.
You may well ask why we do all this.
We can put forward several reasons.

THE HOMELESS GALLERY exists to enable everybody to show their work publicly, those who for various reasons would have no chance to show their work to the world. It s for those who cannot afford a prestigious gallery, and for those who would never even think of doing so. Its a chance to be noticed for photography students, and those just entering photography. For professionals, it s a chance of showing some of their more personal work that never finds its way into their commercial portfolios. For amateurs its a chance of showing their work to people other than their nearest family and friends. For those who are shy, it s a chance to pull out those photographs hidden away in drawers.

The idea of the HOMELESS GALLERY is to be a showcase as well as a cyclical photographic event. Coming to the Gallery means that everybody can see what's hot in the world of photography; they can meet the authors and talk with them, and maybe even buy a photograph. For the photographers themselves it s a chance to get to know each other, thus further integrating the photography environment. On top of all that we also invite all sorts of musicians, dj's, mimes and other independent artists to show themselves during our exhibitions.

click on the link below to visit the Polish Galeria Bezdomna website where you will find a comprehensive listing of details of each of the 50 editions of the gallery to date

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