2012 photokina Update: Photography as Art Will Remain a Part of photokina

2012 photokina Update: Photography as Art Will Remain a Part of photokina

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Cologne, Germany—“Exhibitions of outstanding photographs have always been an important part of photokina and will continue to be,” announced Katharina C. Hamma, COO of Koelnmesse, in response to inaccurate reports that photokina plans to discontinue its presentation of exhibitions featuring art photography.

In consultation with Photoindustrie-Verband and the imaging industry, in 2012 photokina will replace the Visual Gallery—which has been featured five times since 2002—with a new format, Boulevard of Competitions. “In the highly innovative imaging industry, 10 years are a mini eternity, so it was absolutely time to set out on a new path here with the Boulevard,” Hamma explained. “The Boulevard will be prominently located on the north boulevard. Top-class image installations drawn from the leading professional photo competitions will be presented there. There will continue to be other photo exhibitions of high quality on exhibit at photokina as well. photokina will continue to showcase the important linkages here, ranging from photo documentations and photo design to photojournalism and art photography,” the Koelnmesse COO added.

Christoph Thomas, chairman of the Photoindustrie-Verband, also sees the change as a way to strengthen photokina: “We are convinced that our joint decision to seek a new conceptual design for the form in which picture exhibitions are presented at photokina was the right one. The previous discussions we had held with representatives of the industry also confirmed that we had set out on the right path. And naturally photo exhibitions of high quality will remain an important part of photokina in future as well.”

Hamma dismissed as “bizarre” reports that the elimination of the Visual Gallery was due to efforts to save money on the part of the Japanese photo industry: “The registration level at the moment is outstanding. We have already reached 65% of our area targets, and all key accounts are onboard this time with comparable or even larger stand areas than in 2010. The leading Japanese exhibitors in particular already unanimously committed to the event in November 2011. The situation following the tsunami in Japan had no negative impact whatsoever on exhibitor registrations.”

Thomas took the same view: “All of the major and leading companies are convinced of the international importance of photokina and communicated their decision to take part in the trade fair earlier than ever before. It is not without reason that photokina is widely considered the uncontested sales engine and the leading international trading centre for the photo and imaging sector.” photokina.com

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