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: email@example.com.
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.
Lecture effort (lecture by Viktor Čech)
photo by Světlana Malinová
GAMU (Gallery AMU), Malostranské náměstí 12, Praha 1
(entrance from the passage to Tržiště Street)
open daily except Monday: 1 – 7 pm
contact: MgA. Petr Krátký (gallery director), firstname.lastname@example.org
The AMU Gallery’s exhibition program is made possible by the financial support of the Prague City Hall and of the Ministry of Culture Czech Republic.