Světlana Malinová, Anežka Horová, Marina Hendrychová, Abelardo Gil Fournier, Matěj Martinec, František Fekete, Daniel Burda, Aleš Zůbek
curated by: Lukáš Likavčan
The “metabolic perspective” begins with the idea that the human economy is merely a continuation of the natural economy by other means, to the extent that terms such as ’logistics’ or ’infrastructure’ can be applied equally well to industrial parks and ecosystems, to the production and transportation of goods, as well as to photosynthesis and food chains. But what if we were to begin considering human culture and communication as part of the planet’s natural metabolisms? Would we not find around us animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, inanimate objects and entire communities of organisms that are constantly speaking to us, showing us something, warning us?
July 15 – August 27, 2021 (THE EXHIBITION IS EXTENDED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 3, 2021) (opening: on Thursday July 15, 2021, from 1 PM to 7 PM)
Author of the project: Aleš Čermák Theoretical support: Jakub Albert Ferenc Supervision: Jindřiška Křivánková, Jakub Gottwald, Matouš Hejl, Petr Skala Guests: Roman Radkovič Collective Graphic design: Terezie Štindlová Sound design: Matouš Hejl Documentation: GAMU English translation: Vít Bohal Curator and Project Coordinator: Petr Krátký (GAMU)
Hands and other limbs are considered part of the body. Why then couldn’t all beings who possess a body be considered as part of a single being? There is no such thing as a disabled body, but only disabled socioeconomic systems.
From the perspective of the other, being slow needn’t be considered a weakness, and the weak/weaker needn’t be slow/slower – they merely achieve a different speed than the speed of the medium which they inhabit at the given time. A “sick” person needn’t mean “visibly sick”. Sickness also includes that which has not yet been recognized, and which is treated as if it weren’t sick at all. To accept one’s vulnerability and fragility in order to reorganize – reprogram relationships, not only towards oneself, but also within a broader social context.
Are our bodies this dangerous biological factor? Is the body itself at the core of this crisis? Do we only start paying attention to bodies once they become sick? Are there more types of invisibility? Is invisibility beyond everyday experience? What does it mean to stand next to an invisible one?
In the fictional world of the Japanese sci-fi Final Fantasy, we encounter the fantastical features of the sword & sorcery genre, alternative historical facts, manga characters, variously stylized cartoon entities, as well as fairly everyday characters. At first sight, this wild mash-up of genres and features of both eastern and western (pop-)cultures is a chaotic, eclectic world of appropriation, but it also indexes a world where History overlaps with dreams, personal memory, and the private spirituality of its actors. The exhibition features the end-of year, final works of students of the Center for Audiovisual Studies, and adopts the title of the game series as a reference point from which to better grasp the long, global pandemic as a necessary ideal – a new “final fantasy” of the coming future. If the experiences of the last two years constitute a dividing line between the old world and the new, what is this new world we are now entering? The final fantasy refers to the current reconfiguration of ideas about the future as a place of entrenched spirituality, magic and private ritual. Much like in the game world, features of identity and the abstract concept of substance (which can mean a chemical substance, matter, principle, or a base) are key here, and serve as the foundation for the practical bridging of the contradiction between nature and technology, as well as instruments and energy. The exhibited works in a certain sense stand poised on the threshold between the 3D visuality of game environments, ARG games, virtual reality, traditional methods and crafts, such as ceramics, print and natural materials. These however do not create mutual tension, but rather constitute a coherent medium for the narration of personal mythologies.
The individual presentation of the VR project Cuddle Therapy is part of the exhibition and will take place on the dates specified on the Galerie AMU Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/galerie.amu
Shine Bright Like a Diamond Lucie Myslíková
A city game, 90 mins.
Friday, 25 June, 5 – 6.30 PM
The city game Shine Bright Like a Diamond is the final outcome of Lucie Myslíková’s residency at the INI space, during which she addressed the issue of contemporary living conditions. The players’ objective is to become the perfect candidates for acquiring housing at a luxurious residence. The game will start at 5 PM in the space of the Diamond River housing residence, then there will be a shared walk to the INI space. See more at fb.com/iniprojectprostor
Cuddle therapy is a form of therapy which focuses on asexual contact and shows just how much contemporary society is deprived of it. Touch is able to produce the hormone oxytocin which promotes social behavior and gives us a sense of safety. Due to the pandemic measures, we attempted to simulate cuddle therapy by means of virtual space and haptic objects. The installation can be visited individually during specified times, after registering at fb.com/galerie.amu
10 – 18 June, 2021 (opening: Opening day: 10 June, 2021 from 1 PM to 7 PM (from 5 PM with the personal participation of the authors))
Immaterial Intervention IIIII
Interpretation centers in process and in the landscape
Photo FAMU + DAMU KALD + Multimedia VŠE + IPR PRAHA
present the outcomes of their semestral works focusing on the preparation of interpretation centers in the area of the future peri-urban park Soutok (Confluence).
Presentations of the works-in-progress and of the ideas of students from three universities, who are preparing interpretation stations in the landscape around the planned peri-urban park Soutok. The projects were created in mental and hybrid space over a period of many restrictions on free movement. Over the summer months, the projects will see their materialization in assembled teams, materials and spaces. The first physical performance will take place at the very tip of the confluence of Berounka and Vltava on the day of the summer equinox.
Organizational team: Martin Stecker, Štěpánka Šimlová, Tomáš Žižka, Zdeněk Vondra, Zdeněk Ent
27. 5. – 3. 6. 2021 (opening: Opening day: 27. 5. 2021 1pm - 7pm / at 5 PM with the personal participation of the authors)
Vilma Bořkovec, Veronika Loulová
curated by: Ondřej Brody, Mark Ther
exhibition architecture: Matěj Kos
graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek
“Yes, it’s true! We brought Mozart’s penis from Salzburg”.
Opera directors Veronika Loulová and Vilma Bořkovec set out to explore their frustrations about the opera world – where each seeks to express these grievances through her own particular style. In their first and probably last exhibition LAST SURVIVORS they take a critical look at the boundaries of opera and the rigidity of the system that still prevails in opera.
Veronika Loulová and Vilma Bořkovec: LAST SURVIVORS
GAMU, premiere 27 May 2021
Score: 30 %
You either laugh or you cry. There is nothing else to be done for GAMU’s most recent exhibition LAST SURVIVORS – you won’t survive otherwise.
Perhaps every averagely informed opera lover knows the plot of the famous work about maestro Mozart, the painter Beran and the lascivious police chief Švejdar, who wants to circumcise the painter [VB1] and have his penis all to himself.
The year is 2021, and the setting is Prague during the Napoleonic wars, which also play a central part. But the artists of this production scramble the plotlines any way they like. It is true that the exceptional imagination of the artist duo and the force of the drama which they show can, at certain points, overcome the work’s overall temporal disunity.
However, the evocative dinosaurs running around in uniform only distract the viewer and draw attention away from the intimate story itself, which in the overall production seems to stand as if frozen. It also seems Loulová and Bořkovec perhaps just read a mere synopsis of the story, and do not know the libretto, much less the musical score.
One morbid detail is the torture of Mozart, whom the artists have harassed with an electric knife, while Beran, keeping to the libretto, speaks about the poor wretch having “a belt of nails fastened to his temples”. It is a trifle which completes the final scene, where Mozart is at the top of the Angelic Castle where he is to be circumcised at dawn. The characters walk the stage, but do not express any emotion and there is no passion between them – although when they do attempt this, their interactions achieve an almost parodic level of drama.
The exhibition can be taken with a dose of good humor, but the overall production is rather a thing to sleep through. Perhaps the dozing of the audience is broken by the finale where Mozart is supposed to commit suicide by throwing himself off the ramparts of the Angelic Castle. The artists resolve this in different ways, but the plunge which they have in GAMU certainly has no equal on the world’s stages: Mozart runs upstairs from the office, probably falls through the ceiling (that’s a figurine though) and irrupts into the basement, or perhaps into hell, riling up a cloud of dust.
The entire exhibition ought to follow his trip to the nether, or it ought to at least be quickly forgotten about.
Ondřej Brody and Mark Ther
Video Želvuška: Performer: Anna Benháková Camera, Editing: Juliana Moska Lights: Vojtěch Brtnický
Video Violetta: Violetta: La Cuntessa Camera, Editing: Lenka Karaka
Recording: Kristýna Fílová Ahmad Jafar Hedar
Video dinosaurs: Camera, Editing: Filip Kopecký
Lease of props: Jakub Mejsnar Judita Mejstříková RUN OPERUN z.s.
Mozart’s penis: Model: Martin Talaga Cast: Jan Haubelt
Installation: Jiří Procházka
Special thanks to: Adriana Spišáková Marek Špitálský Justina Urbanová
Release of the online exhibition: 11th of May 2021
The artists Viktor Takáč and Milan Mazúr most often work through the medium of film, developing various technical solutions and formal approaches. They are also interested in the space in which the viewer observes their works, and their projects articulate not only the medium of the moving image itself, but also study its overlaps with the possibilities present in the gallery space and foreground the role of an actor as a possible mover of the narration and facilitator of mutual interaction. Both artists attempt to deconstruct the schema of linear narration and thus compose new audiovisual wholes which might be based on their own rules and tools. They have been employing these themes throughout their doctoral studies under the guidance of Tomáš Svoboda in the studio of New Media at Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts. The planned exhibition at GAMU is their first collaborative project.
Supervision: Jindřiška Křivánková, Jakub Gottwald, Jan Bárta, Matouš Hejl
Graphic Design: Terezie Štindlová
Sound Design: Matouš Hejl
Technical Support: Jaro Repka
English Translation: Vít Bohal
Project Curator and Coordinator: Petr Krátký (GAMU)
Strange Homelessness: Dreaming as Real Praxis is the title of the first part of The Transversal Navigation project and will be presented in three phases throughout 2021 in the AMU Gallery. Due to the pandemic regulations, the project’s first phase will not be open to the public. The individual parts will be presented throughout on the project’s website.
Let’s for a while consider waking life and dreaming together. If our dreams were duly interconnected, so that every night the same people and the same circumstances returned, we would be unsure as to what is waking and what is dream. And so, if we speak about a waking state, we must also include a state of dreaming. We dream for a single reason, and that is to access reality.
The Transversal Navigation project is conceived as a distributed experimental praxis, a coherent flow of experience within which the human is exposed to a vaster and ever more complex configuration of consciousness, while experiencing the incessant observation of things again from tiny, improbable places and perspectives. The transversal navigation is a collaboration of the environment – an ecology of praxis.
The Department of Alternative and Puppet Theater of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, the Site Specific Master’s studio: Nikola Isaković, Jana Nunčič, Nikola Janković, Anna Dobiášová, Tereza Mitro
exhibition concept: Štěpánka Šimlová, Tomáš Žižka
graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek
Exhibition is not open to audience.
A collaboration exhibition project of Photo FAMU and the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theater of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
The students of Photo FAMU photographically map the surroundings of Confluence, where throughout the next semester they will work on doing artistic research of the landscape.
As part of their studies, the students collaborate on the project which pilots a suburb park called Confluence, where they will apply site specific and creative methods of art production of so-called live art (which employs the use of theater performance, and participatory and action art) and will use the methodology of so-called interpretation centers, i.e. mobile field situations developed in order to facilitate the understanding and spread of knowledge about natural, historical and cultural values of a given region.
Accompanying program: February 18, 2021 from 6 pm live stream performance of the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theater DAMU, master Studio site-specific: Above the Fish World
The exhibition Hour between a Dog and a Wolf, the Studio of Classical Photography Photo FAMU, is also currently taking place at GAMU.
Afanasy Shishebarov, Alexandra Chudá, Anežka Pithartová, Ava Holtzman, Cyprian Sprawka, Eduard Peleška, Eva Palčič, Flore Rigoigne, Jakub Pavlík, Jonathan Machander, Kacper Senkowski, Kristýna Mikulková, Yucheng Lin, Natálie Hájková, Natálie Pešková, Olivia Morris Andersén, Raphael Taterka, Said Babayev, Václav Sobek
exhibition concept: Štěpánka Šimlová, Tomáš Žižka
graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek
Exhibition is not open to audience.
Exhibition project of the first year of the Photo FAMU Classic Photography Studio.
The twilight kindly completes an object’s contours. Darkness denudes reality.
The hour between dog and wolf, when the difference between the two cannot be distinguished, indicates something much more profound than just the time of day. At this time, each being becomes its own shadow, that is something different than itself. It is a time of metamorphosis, when half the people wish for and the rest dread the dog becoming wolf. The label for this time has been handed down from early Medieval ages, when village people believed such transformation could take place anytime.
From the perspective of the astronomers, dusk and dawn are the times of day when the Sun’s center is located between the 0 and 18th degree under the horizon. In this time frame, which can be fixed to about an hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset, the surroundings are not wholly illuminated, nor are they completely dark. The sunlight coming from below the horizon and reflected by the sky is characteristic of its immense softness, an absence of shadow and the silhouettes of objects framed against its backdrop.
The central condition for the works created as part of the Studio of Classical Photography of FAMU during the Winter semester of 2020 was exactly this hour before the arrival or departure of daylight. In terms of genre and theme, the works focus on landscape, architecture, portraiture, nude, still-life, as well as staged and documentary works. Creating the works in exteriors was not obligatory, and the students were encouraged to work with the above-mentioned character of natural light also near interior windows, or in a daylight studio. The condition was however the use of classic film material, and not video or digital devices. But the choice of format, film sensitivity and camera type, including pinhole cameras and other experimental devices remained wholly at the students’ discretion. Honor the hour when a single hue can become the cosmos!
The Confluence exhibition is taking place in the GAMU, at the same time. It is a collaboration project of Photo FAMU and the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theater of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Biggest gift you can give to someone is your Č/CAS
Outputs from the workshops of the Center for Audiovisual Studies FAMU in Prague.
As artists we lost the possibility of exhibiting in art galleries due to the current situation, we take it upon ourselves to fulfill another role of art –service.
We decided to open up AMU gallery through a service hatch operating from 1pm to 5pm during the exhibition period; offering fragments of our student’s winter semester finals (statuettes, stills, ceramic installations) for financial support of your choice.
The serving hatch in the AMU Gallery has several functions: it comments on the relationship between art and its representation, it is a social act of a community character, a souvenir shop, a ticket for screenings and also importantly a supporting collection. You will be able to help and also see the works of CAS students in compliance with current covid-19 restictions and in open space.
We disagree with the decision of polish government to ban abortions in their country so we dedicate all the proceeds from the sale of GIFTSHOP to Ciocia Czesia, group that started self-organized grassroots platform for people from Poland who can’t access abortion safely and legally.
Artists: Olga Mikh Fedorova, Dominik Gajarský, Olga Krykun, Barbora Látalová, Zden Brungot Svíteková Curated by Viktor Čech Architect: Matěj Kos Graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek CGI@3D: Marek Bulíř, Jáchym Moravec
The last, third part of the project focused on the relationship between contemporary art, choreography and contemporary dance is devoted to the issue of physical movement as space-time (dis)continuity. Perception of time and movement of the human body in contemporary video, performance and dance. The exhibition takes place completely in an online 3D environment, connecting both artistic areas through videos, installations and viewer interaction.
10. 10. 2020 - 1. 11. 2020/ exhibition extended to 15. 11. 2020 (opening: friday 9th of October 2020 1 - 7 PM)
Christian Kasners, Susanne Keichel, Tobias Neumann, Andrzej Steinbach, Lina Zacher
curated by: Stephanie Kiwitt, Anna Voswinckel, Tereza Rudolf
Exhibition is a part of Fotograf Festival #10
Second Talk: Shifting Perspective
Alžběta Bačíková, Susanne Keichel, Lina Zacher
9. 10. 2020, 5 PM
A conversation on the possibilities of a social documentary practice in contemporary photography and film. With the artists Alžběta Bačíková, Susanne Keichel and Lina Zacher.
Perspective is a question of seeing and taking action. Both of which are directly connected to the experience of space. We now inhabit a living environment and communications space that ask or allow for a multitude of perspectives. In light of this it is possible to again pose the question as to the nature of social documentary photography.
For years Tobias Neumann has been traveling to Lomé and photographing two sisters. He later continued the portrait series with one of the sisters in Leipzig. Though the living environments are very different, his sympathetic vision provides a common element.
In his picture sequence Andrzej Steinbach presents the portrait of a group of three individuals of the same age as an alliance of “shifting identities”. His portrait can be read as the antithesis to contemporary society’s desire for homogenization and clear borders.
In Nová Evropa Christian Kasners turns his attention towards similar questions in the Czech Republic. He reads and registers symbols of consumption, the xenophobic statements of right-wing populist politics, traces of National Socialism and manifestations of the Left and places these pictures in close proximity to one another.
Since 2015 Susanne Keichel has been reflecting on the treatment of refugees in her own surroundings as an object of political and logistical friction and as a xenophobic reaction.
As the product of a film workshop with inmates of a youth detention centre in Madagascar, Lina Zacher’s documentary portrays the living circumstances of this micro society from the perspective of the inmates themselves. To what extent are new spheres of action generated for the prisoners and the artist herself?
26. 9. – 2. 10. 2020 (opening: friday 25th of September 2020 6 PM)
Author: Natálie Podešvová, Jana Stárková and collective
Creative team: Adéla Križovenská, Natálie Matysková, Natálie Podešvová, Jan Poš, Jana Stárková, Veronika Traburová, Jan Vaniš
Performers: Jan Homola, Katarína Hudačková, Adéla Križovenská, Arman Kupelyan, Jana Maroušková, Natálie Podešvová, Jan Poš, Jan Štrachal, Veronika Traburová, Natálie Vacková, Jan Vaniš, Adéla Voldrábová
Dance performance made by HAMU students and their guests led by choreographer Natálie Podešvová.
Due to limited capacity, a reservation is required at e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
premiere: 25. 9. 19:30
next shows: 30. 9. and 2. 10.
The project consist of the dance performance presented in the AMU Gallery, as well as the multimedia exhibition.
Escape, run away, flee – effugio. Have you ever succeeded to get away from your own mind? Or to win the fight with obsessive-compulsive thoughts? Do you know how does it feel to live in a world where others condemned you for not being able to do that?
Mental discomfort – everyone knows it, everyone deals with it on his own. What is so unbearable in a person’s life that one chooses self-harm as a way to escape mental discomfort?
Self-harm is most common in young people. Intentional physical self-harm is most common in girls between the ages of 13-17. Yer they are not the only ones to solve problems with self-harm, using self-hatred instead of self-love. Where does it come from? Where is the beginning of self-destruction and why is it easier for others to not see these problems?
The Effugio project is a dance installation based on the tradition of physical theater. It tries to reveal the common causes that lead people to this extreme solution. It asks about the triggers and about the relationship with the environment.
This project is created with the support of HAMU and GAMU.
12. 9. – 20. 9. 2020 (opening: friday 11th of September 2020 6 PM)
Exhibitors: Juan David Calderón Ardila, Ranaji Deb, Oskar Helcel, Martin Netočný, Hassan Sarbakhshian, Evgenii Smirnov, Longyu You
curated by: Hynek Alt
graphic design: Matěj Moravec
Diploma exhibition of students of Department of Photography, FAMU, Prague.
What is the mood like in the country?
Last dictator loses his grip.
I just don’t exist.
You trade your health for art.
There are no viruses here.
Extremists try to storm German parliament.
Leave before it’s too late!
Villagers prefer hard work.
NBA players take a real political action.
China hits back.
Share your experiences!
Drone footage reveals scale of damage.
Candidate comes out of hiding.
Zuckerberg blames contractors.
Each day we learn about a new loss.
Turmoil sparks starkly different reactions.
Banksy funds refugee rescue boat.
New York’s not dead.
People turn their basements into secret fantasy worlds.
Unite and heal!
The simple present tense is used to express an action that is happening now or regularly. It is the most common form of the verb used. These examples of headlines using simple present tense are taken from today’s issue of the British newspaper The Guardian.
Recognizing signs of the present time lies at the core of an artist’s practice. The constant flow and the unclear distinction of when present emerges from the immediate future only to slip into petrified past a moment later, make this task extremely demanding on one’s attention. All technical images as individual or sequential indexical recordings always capture only what is here and now. That is a quality of technical images that helps us distinguish our memories from our immediate experiences since the time of shadows in caves.
Seven students exhibiting their diploma projects derive their initial experience from photography. Each one’s practice has evolved over time and each one has arrived at utilizing a different medium and an original language of their own. No common theme is treated in the Simple Present Tense exhibition, it is rather shared physical and psychological conditions in which all the works were conceived. A situation of informational overload, insecurity, and extreme change in how we perceive physical reality produced strategies of radical honesty, flexibility, and the necessity for new precision.
29. 8. – 6. 9. 2020 (opening: friday 28th of August 2020 6 PM)
Exhibiting artists: František Fekete, Vendula Guhová, Lucie Ščurková, Veronika Švecová
The graduate exhibition of students of the Center for Audiovisual Studies (FAMU in Prague)
The exhibition’s title Step Aside serves the exhibited artists as a metaphor, one which shows the desire to view the development of our civilization from new angles. This can mean conscious deceleration, comprehending the repercussions of our actions, attempting a sustainable future and the role of the artist within it, or drawing attention to marginalized social groups or phenomena.
František Fekete Auto-Portrait as Doubt video installation
Auto-Portrait as Doubt is a video on the threshold of an essay and a moving collage. The author asks questions regarding the sense of his own work and considers doubt as a vehicle for creativity. Through doubt he interrogates his identity as artist, and the mechanisms and limits of artistic creation. The video is very introspective, but it also comprises of fragments of dialogue with other authors. Through the audio-visual composition of original images, family archives, found material, drawings and texts, he questions the circumstances of its own creation.
Lucie Ščurková The Root of Humanity cycle of photographs, drawings
How would you narrate the creation of the world and the people in it? Would the heroes survive until today? And if yes, how would they fare? The Root of Humanity presents a new mythology with all the integral features. Its heroes, Gaia and Golem, fight developers, cars and normativity, but they are beset by stereotypes at every turn.
Vendula Guhová Enriching the Soil
fertile soil with enough hummus has the ability to retain humidity, absorb CO2, last through bad weather conditions, and of course provide better nutritional value to food. That is why it is necessary to enrich it organically and carefully preserve the life within. One centimeter of soil takes about one hundred years to form, but we often misuse it as if it were a fully renewable resource.
Soil is not just dead rock, but a living mass full of microorganisms, worms, fungi and nutrients. The soil of vast monocultural fields is often damaged by the use of industrial fertilizers and pesticides, not to mention their subsequent draining into the water table and their negative effect on the environment’s ability to regenerate.
The injection of organic matter into the soil has a complex range of effects, as opposed to adding individual chemical elements in the form of industrial fertilizer. We can consider soil much like we consider air – it is a common resource which needs to be protected.
The simplest way for a city dweller to add to the richness of the soil without access to farm fertilizers, green fertilizers or intermediate crops is to throw their coffee grinds or carrot peels into the compost. The intention of the installation is to create a shared gesture, and to show that the issue of soil needs a systemic solution.
There are posters plastered around Malá Strana and local institutions calling for participation in the enrichment of soil – to throw bio-waste into the compost. The gallery visitors can write down what they contributed to the compost. The installation exhibits mental maps assembled by experts focusing on the interconnection of compost and the enrichment of soil in agriculture and their potential use for it. During the exhibition, the author will go to venues and institutions in the locality and try to get their bio-waste. She regularly goes to care for the work, sift it, add to it with her own bio-waste and mix it with soil from a conventional field from the gallery floor. After the exhibition ends, the partly-decomposed compost will be moved to a conventional field at the edge of Prague, thus enriching it. The composter will be moved to a publicly accessible outside space in Malá Strana so that it might continue to serve its purpose.
composter – Štěpán Trefil, graphics – Vendula Guhová, consulting of the project – Tomáš Uhnák, Martin Blažíček, mental maps created by soil experts – Alžběta Randusová (Ministerial Council for Soil, Protection at the Ministry of Agriculture), Soňa Valčíková (consultant for biowaste and composting, Kokoza), Soňa Jonášová (Institute of Circular Economics), Jaroslav Záhora (soil biologist, Mendel University), Barbora Chmelová (ecologist), František Hájek (agronomist, Jarošovice composting plant)
Veronika Švecová The Final Quest of the Real-Playness
A traumatic adolescence brings a girl to the obsessive and escapist play of video games. The pressing vacuum of helplessness which tyrannizes her everyday life encroaches on her budding imagination. The avatar from her favorite video game fully embodies her parallel identity. A quest for the key gives the girl a chance at escaping from the shadows of her spoiled reality. All it takes is to make it through the final level and to meet the hostile demons, who reflect the deprivation of her teenage experience, face to face.
We are injected into the fragment of the innocent girl’s room and discover the battlefield of the game’s final scene where she becomes transformed into her own gamic idol. May she soon overcome the last obstacles and may her fantastical visions become the landscape of her own dreams.
video Filip Kopecký
The Need for Soil Care (panel discussion) – 2nd of September, 6 PM
8. 7. – 23. 8. 2020 (opening: Tuesday 7th of July 2020, 6:00 PM)
Phoebe Berglund (USA), Veronika Čechmánková (CZ), Agnieszka Mastalerz (PL) a Michał Szaranowicz (PL)
curated by: Viktor Čech
exhibition architecture: Matěj Kos
graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek
Analysis of Choreography and Movement (workshop by Hana Polanská Turečková): 21st of July, 4 PM
Lecture effort (lecture by Viktor Čech): 5th of August, 6 PM
Guided tour (by Viktor Čech): 20th of August, 6 PM
The second part of the project dedicated to physical movement, dance and choreography in contemporary art interrogates physical exertion and the act of labor. The will and energy to move is not only connected with a number of functional mechanisms and the fulfillment of an ideal effectiveness in the field of the human body, but is also a landscape which is integrally political, a place of control and resistance, physical effects and their symbolic manifestations. The exhibiting artists meet in a network of structures suspended between these two polarities.
The physical exertions with which we perform any motion have many various aspects and qualities which influence not only their function and results, but also their visual form. As the modernist choreographer Rudolf Laban already showed in his research of motion as a site of work, the connection between a specific quality of our physical exertion, whether we mean the strength we put in, its speed or flow, leads directly to defining certain choreographic forms. The topic of exertion however cannot be discussed only from the vantage point of the human body’s biomechanics. It is closely connected with our will to actively inhabit this world and we cannot imagine performing any activities, much less work, without it.
Any physical exertion is closely connected to the processes of labor/work, their direction, motivation and reflexive relationship to our body. Just like with the focus on choreography, we cannot avoid the question of control, appropriation and objectification of the human body. Many research projects indeed closely studied these circumstances – and not just in the extreme efficiency of Fordism – which led to the incessant repetition of a limited register of movements on the part of the worker and also included visual analyses of motions of labor. The seeming boundary between the world of industrial production and the aesthetics of movement was collapsed in the work of Soviet avant-garde researcher and poet Alexei Gastev, the head of the Moscow Labor Office. His poetry celebrates the synthesis of the worker and the machine, and the visual analyses of work activities constitute a beautiful example of this.
At least since 19th century modernism, labor, its political, social and ethical value has also constituted an important topic for visual art. This exhibition project would like to approach this topic from a specific perspective which melds a choreographic understanding of movement as a form and function with the viewpoint of visual art which examines these aspects in their symbolic and formal representation. The presented work of American choreographer and artist Phoebe Berglund, the Czech artist Veronika Čechmánková and the Polish artists Agnieszka Mastalerz and Michal Szaranowicz focuses on various aspects of the above-mentioned: on the relationship between a physical effort at movement, the social and cultural contexts connected with it and the understanding of the role of our embodiment within this complex webbing.
Phoebe Berglund: Basic Economy vs. Economy vs. Flexible Economy three channell video, 2020, 15 mins
Basic Economy vs. Economy vs. Flexible Economy is a three-channel employee training video that explores the relationship between the flexible body of the worker and flexible economic models. Berglund plays the role of the Sotheby’s office worker, moving through tasks in her office on Wall Street to sleepless nights in a hotel room during a business trip to Shanghai, to her apt in Soho during Covid-19 quarantine. We watch her work, eat, sleep, take taxi rides on highways and dance at night. The videos are narrated by Berglund, who weaves text from human resources websites with fiction and her personal travel diary. Themes that run throughout are social and economic mobility, itinerant lifestyle, aspirational wealth, solitude, cybersex, time and debt.
Phoebe Berglund: Work Poster: Office Stretches three posters, 2020
Cubicle by Phoebe Berglund invites us to imagine a darkened, vacant office in Manhattan. Staff are no longer present, working from home while in quarantine. A laminated chart entitled “Office Stretches” hangs in solitude in an empty cubicle, presenting a range of effective stretching exercises for office workers. These images of the body wait for the workers to return and assume their positions.
Imagine you are the worker. Place one hand softly on the top of your head and cradle your chin with the other. Tilt your neck to the left, guiding it with your hands, until you feel a stretch. Place both hands on the small of your back in the shape of a diamond. Take a deep breath in and look up to the ceiling. Rest your forehead on your keyboard and listen to your heartbeat. Spread your legs, make a phone call. Imagine yourself in another realm. Press your face to the Microsoft Office Window screen and you will see me. I am in your cubicle, you are in your body, we are moving together as one, now, in virtual time and space, dancing till the world ends.
Work Poster: Office Stretches was commissioned by Wendy’s Subway and designed by Simran Ankolkar. The printed poster is available to order from Wendy’s Subway at https://bit.ly/workposters
Veronika Čechmánková: Dialog with The Previous video, 2019, 2:15 mins, installation
In her video performance, Veronika Čechmánková connects two seemingly contrasting worlds. The first is the contemporary culture of the exercising body, nowadays oftentimes connected to trends such a yoga and the search for a mythical integrity and balance between soul and body. The second is the world of our rural great-grandmothers, with their every-day hard work and the all-too literal earning of their daily bread. The ritual of harvest, of working with a scythe, its choreography, is portrayed here as a form of initiation – through the individual exertions towards the final catharsis which takes the form of bread. In some ways, the ideal world of hard work and bread-winning of former village life, connected with the endless repetition of the cycles of human life and nature, melds with contemporary civil reality in which a similar exertion and disciplining of the body in gyms seems more like a simulacrum which covers over the technocratic aspects of our society.
Agnieszka Mastalerz & Michał Szaranowicz: Primary Swarm, 2020 and Sluice, 2018, loop
In Warsaw, on the East bank of the Vistula, across the river from the Museum of Modern Art an investment Port Praski (in English: Prague Harbour) is being realised. Between 1885-2012 the area served as a harbour, which was surrounded by rather poor tenement buildings and a green wasteland, there was a slaughterhouse, too. The ambitious emerging housing development should change the place’s aura for a European-class district. The investment cannot be finished until a water lock is built.
The installation touches upon Port Praski and points out to the sluice’s function – as a mechanism that changes level of something that goes through it.
The installation comprises two videos by Agnieszka Mastalerz and Michał Szaranowicz: Sluice (the anthropometric gate out of hands, 2018) and Primary Swarm (the group of explorers which traverses a cocoon-like space, as well as the black-and-white registration of an unaffected part of today’s Port Praski, 2020).
video by Miroslava Konečná
Hana Polanská Turečková: Choreography and Analysis of Movement (workshop)
In the first half of the 20th century, Rudolf Laban developed an analysis of movement which even today remains unrivalled. There, he also studied workers during labor. He then managed to accurately describe and categorize their every-day gestures and functional movements and integrate them into a systematic study. His analysis of the complex understanding of movement includes the body, effort, shape and space harmony. During our workshop, we will attempt to use the study of effort so that we might see how to perform movement in our everyday lives and how we might be able to expand it into the field of dance expression. Together, as a group, we will then create a choreography inspired by Rudolf Laban’s analysis and we will use this time to have fun and study the question of movement in relation to its quality.
5. 3. – 28. 6. 2020 (opening: Wednesday 4th of March 2020, 6:00 PM)
Janek Rous, Hana Turečková Polanská a Ivan Svoboda, Zuzana Žabková
curated by: Viktor Čech
exhibition architecture: Matěj Kos
graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek
10th of June 2020, 7 PM, Dance as a Metaphor of Thinking? (lecture by Viktor Čech)
17th of June 2020, 6 PM, Ecosystems of Movement and Thinking (panel discussion)
25th of June 2020, 6 PM, Guided tour
Can physical movement be considered a metaphor for our thought? Can we understand it as a method which allows us to relate to thought processes by other than verbal means? The project was constructed around these questions, and connects the exhibition with a series of lectures, screenings and discussions which will be realized in GAMU throughout the upcoming year. Their shared interest lies in the zone where contemporary dance and choreography meets visual and fine art, exploring the relationship of our bodily movement and its structure with various aspects of our reality. The project entitled Choreography of Mind is supposed to offer an initial definition of the whole project, a process through which discourses of contemporary art and dance find their place in their local situations. That is also why the exhibition, which will be realized in the gallery space, is most importantly a platform for live dialogue and is supported by an accompanying program.
The selection of the presented works focuses on a few aspects of the relationship of choreography and bodily movement to contemporary artistic practice in the gallery sphere. While the two exhibited works of the Slovakian artist Zuzana Žabková are a great example of the synthesis between the work of a choreographer and visual artist which use unexpected shifts in the tasks of both these fields, the work created by Hana Polanská specially for the exhibition (in creative collaboration with Ivan Svoboda and a number of other participants) is the outcome of the collaboration between a choreographer, dancer and visual artist reacting to the theoretical discourse pertaining to the exhibition, most importantly the seminal text by Alain Badiou. On the other hand, the fictitious photo-documentary by Janek Rous is an example of one of the situations in which the relationship between physical movement and verbal narration appears simultaneously in the language of contemporary video art.
The accompanying program will consist of a number of events. The first will be a thematic lecture inspired by the essay of Alain Badiou pertaining to the understanding of dance as a metaphor for thought which might tease out the parallels of this relationship among the global works relating to these two fields (Viktor Čech). The second will feature a moderated discussion panel with a group of invited guests, asking about the relationship to physical motion, and the ideology and conceptual framework in the sphere of contemporary art.
video by Miroslava Konečná
Zuzana Žabková: Une elevation arrondi retirée, video, 2010, 1:50 mins.
In this video, the artist has used her experience of working as choreographer as, based of the taxonomy of classical French dance, she wrote a poetic text which, in the Slovakian language, achieved an autonomous literary sense. Dancers dancing on a neutral black background applied it as a formalized expression of dance with its own abstract values. The voice which reads the text replaces the musical component and simultaneously creates a contrast between its lyricism and the concrete technical take on the choreography. As in many of her other works, Žabková developed her complex approach using techniques of the media of choreography in a shifted context which simultaneously explores its boundaries. In this sense, the much more flexible and wider field of visual art serves as a space for realizing her unique artistic discourse which at the same time retains its grounding in the art of dance.
Ballet libretto Une élevation arrondi retirée
Une balancoire entrelacé a la terre
Une glissade a gauche , a droit un deboulé
Devant le deboulé un defilé glissé
en dedan sciseaux jeté
a gauche ballon en l air au milieuII.
Enchainement des preparatioin a une grande apotheose
En l air feerie des attitudes elevées
Defilé des aplombs posés
Les demi- caractere relevé
Tourbillon des reverencesIII.
Entré des pas de bouré
Les attitude elevé detourné
Ballon par terreIV.
Échapé bourré retiré en promenade
Temps de l´ange
Echappé frappé par élevation arrondi
Pas de deux passés changés
Les bras assemblésV.
Enchainement des contretemps
Entrée des pistolets
Cou de pied emboité
en descandant le deboulé échappé demiplié
echappé devant le défillé
les ciseaux ouvert devant le defilé
Une élevation arrondi retirée derriere
Feérie des temps lié ua passé effacé
Dégagement d ´équilibre couru
na zemi pohodená prepletená hojdačka
na ľavo kĺzačka, na pravo odľahlý prudký
pred zjazdom klzká úžina, v nej pohodené
v strede balón vo vzduchuII.
na veľkú oslavu
vo vzduchu čaro vznešených postojov
sprievod hraných sebavedomí, šľachetných polocharakterov
vstup opitých krokov
vznešené postoje obmenené
veľká oslava oslabená
balón na zemiIV.
osamelý opitý unikajúci na prechádzke
unikajúci unesený zaoblenou vznešenosťou
kroky dvoch zmenených minulostí na prechádzke
sled neočakávaných udalostí
vykĺbený priehlavok, schádzajúc prudký zjazd utečenec zohnutý
unikajúci pred úžinou
pred úžinou otvorené nožnice
zaoblená vznešenosť opustená za
čaro časov minulých pominulo
uvoľnenie známej rovnováhy
Zuzana Žabková: De Profundis,, video, 2012, 4:43 mins.
In this video, the author multiplied the figure of the conductor managing an invisible orchestra. Each of its individualities, which conducts one part of a Psalm written by a different composer, received a “choreography” determined by the moving camera. This creates for not only a poetic visual study of this specific language of movement, but also a special inversion of its paradigm, where that which controls and directs becomes a subject of aesthetic analysis. The author shifts the semantic language of the conductor’s gestures, which are at the same time a demanding aesthetic and expressive form, moving from a type of gestural language towards a combinatorial game with the individual performers’ movement qualities.
Janek Rous: Vysvobození z bytu, kde prach je uchováván z úzkosti a se smyslem pro pořádek (Escape from a Flat where Anxiety Stores Dust with a Sense for Tidiness), video, 2019, 15:53 min.
The fictitious documentary of Janek Rous is not only a verbal narration developed around a real-life story of one unnamed place, but also a visual and gestural expression of a small drama which reflects our recent past, our present and the crisis of values connected with it. The gestures and movements of that anonymous narrator and the movement of the camera are also an interesting example of the relationship between gestures and bodily movement which the narrative fiction applies to it, which creates the basic framework of the resulting artistic message.
Tanec jako metafora pro myšlenku (Dance as a Metaphor for Thought). Alain Badiou, Hana Polanská in collaboration with Ivan Svoboda, 2020, video installation
In her project created specially for this exhibition, the choreographer Hana Polanská, working in collaboration with artist Ivan Svoboda, dancer Zdenka Svíteková and other participants, created a triptych of videos supplemented by a sound recording which develop a creative interdisciplinary dialogue with the already mentioned text of Alain Badiou, entitled Dance as a Metaphor for Thought.
She is not even a dancer:
improvisation and text reading: Zdeňka Brungot-Svíteková
text: Alain Badiou, Dance as a Metaphor for Thought (výňatky)
camera: Ivan Svoboda
Le Roi danse:
dancer: Jakub Češpivo
camera: Ivan Svoboda
music: Spotify – výběr Jakuba Češpivo
camera: Ivan Svoboda
music: Jean Babtiste Lully, Le Roi Danse
speech: Zdeńka Brungot-Svíteková, Jakub Češpivo
6. 2. – 16. 2. 2020 (opening: Wednesday 5th of February at 6 PM)
Nikola Klinger, Anežka Horová, Marie- Anna Šulc- Hajšman, Alexandra Sihelská, Aleš Zůbek, Hannah Saleh, Lucie Ščurková, Gabriela Paliová, Jozef Čabo, Veronika Švecová
curated by: Marie Lukáčová, David Kořínek
graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek
The group exhibition Horizont událostí (Event Horizon) presents a selection of contemporary student works of the Center for Audiovisual Studies at FAMU straddling the boundaries between performance, film and new media. The exhibition builds on the exhibition Horizont událostí I. which took place in Galerie Fotograf.
Gallery AMU presents a selection of the most interesting final works by students of the Department of Photography at FAMU. The compilation of student projects is an intersection of several topics that search much more for questions than answers for specific problems. The installation most often reflects current social topics such as work, money, technology, individuality or emotions.
29. 11. - 20. 12. 2019/ exhibition extended to 5. 1. 2020 (opening: Thursday 28th. November 2019 at 6 PM, Commented tour: Wednesday 18th. December 2019 at 6 PM)
Marie Lukáčová, Matěj Pavlík, Lucie Rosenfeldová
exhibition architecture: Kateřina Kulanová
graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek
A Composite Portrait of Resisting Images
In the following text, I will attempt to answer the question of how to view the exhibition, or rather how to imagine it as a whole, one which spans a number of rooms and features various works by various authors, and thus resists any holistic form of understanding. A possible starting point might be found in the style of one of the exhibited works – composite portraiture.
This method was developed by the pioneer Francis Galton when he exhibited faces photographed from a certain angle and in identical conditions, so that all the faces included in the group created one unified visage. The “image statistics” thus chose the typical features, while only the specters of traces remained from their individual idiosyncrasies. Galton considered the technology of photography as a materialization of empiricism and naturalism, i.e. something that secures objective understanding through the transparency of its representations. Biometric photography thus served him as a tool for mathematizing biology, sociology and anthropology, which are the sciences which, at least in Galton’s mind, converge in the study of eugenics. They not only provide a theoretical description of phenomena, but also prescribe protocols of social engineering. The mathematization of sciences and, vicariously, the mathematization of the described and proscribed world, fused with the instrumentalization of scientific understanding and knowing in order to foster a supposedly rational sovereignty over the world.
This created the conditions for establishing everything as reducible to information. This process today tends towards more abstract forms of commodification and the financialization of everything. Despite occasional proclamations to the contrary, contemporary art is also part of this political economy. As a form of investment, art constitutes mostly economic value, while the aesthetic value serves only as camouflage for profit-oriented speculation. The autonomy of art, which the Modernist theorists clamored for, remains a false flag for those who are just not in the market for anything at the given moment. Much like information, images are generated from the tension between repetition and novelty, and become units of the libidinal economy. The former distinction between artistic performance as a model of non-alienated work becomes inverted into the dictates of creativity, originality and authenticity which make us subjects both in and for ourselves.
Sigmund Freud, one of the foremost interpreters of modern subjectivity, referenced Galton’s method of composite portraiture in order to focus on of the fundamental features of working with dreams – condensation – through which the dream overlaps various phenomena into a single one. Freud assumed that by means of untangling them, for example by means of tracing their individual and less obvious content, one can find access to the otherwise inaccessible unconscious. The translator Charles Mauron continued in this legacy by also making recourse to composite photography in his formulation of the “psychocritical” method. He used it to help him discover heretofore undisclosed features and relationships in texts, which might stem from the author’s unconscious. By overlapping the texts of the same author, much like in the case of Galton’s photographs, Mauron attempted to uncover obsessive networks of associations or clusters of images. Again, he did not follow the differences, but rather the common features among them, meaning the unintentional patterns of ordering. For our purposes, we should adapt Mauron’s method for our purposes. We do not have to question whether we are really diving into the authors’ unconscious. After all, the physiognomic types which Galton extracted from the photographs of particular faces do not exist in the sense that they show identical, living people. Rather, they assume a working of abstraction which might be understood as a certain type of apophenia, which is the tendency to perceive connections and meanings in unrelated things. Similarly, Mauron’s approach merits rethinking also in the very conception of the unconscious, which might not be directly linked to the question of meaning, but rather to output. All of the (not only) unconscious images could then be understood as potentially useful, whether they might be used in science, medicine, in the methods of administration, surveillance or governance, artistic projects or popular culture.
At the same time, it seems productive to focus not on the unconscious, as Freud described it, but on that which N. Katherine Hayles calls the “cognitive nonconscious,” by which she means cognitive processes distributed across human, non-human, biological and technical systems. If Mauron considered artistic production to be the objectivization of subjective consciousness, revising his approach might yield the insight that creation is at the very least a bi-directional process transpiring between subjects and objects. It is also necessary to speak of images, so that they might not silence us, and it is important to also speak to them in this sense. Not to look at images, but rather with images. And maybe to collectively come up with a way of selling ourselves, in order to pay for ourselves, but to not let ourselves be bought.
9. 10. - 10. 11. 2019 (opening: Tuesday 8th. October 2019 at 6 pm, Commented tour: Saturday 19th. October 2019 at 4 pm)
Zbyněk Baladrán, Kapwani Kiwanga, Violaine Lochu, Lucie Rosenfeldová and Matěj Pavlík, Zorka Ságlová, Martin Zet
curated by: Fabienne Bideaud
exhibition concept: Fotograf Festival
graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek
The revolution is a political act of a protest and reform, to which the exhibition presents a meta-idea through mythological and iconic dimensions. These construction forms are more subversive and more personal, but nevertheless this does not detract their enthusiasm for ideological nor identity struggles. On the one hand, it is the question of appropriating reality, which blurs the line between narration and fabulation, real and figurative, and creates a space for shaping the meaning “mythology”; on the other hand, it addresses the question of faith, where a person and / or object embody public disagreement, challenge or duel – an icon. Within the exhibition, artists will present projects inspired by Sun Ra, Patrice Lumumba or Angela Davis, or more collective actions, such as the revival of a Russian revolutionary song; a popular legend performed in the 1970s or an analysis of image material distribution system controlled by the political regime, from the late 1980s to the present.