17. 7. - 1. 9. 2019 (opening: Tuesday 16th. July 2019 at 6 p.m., guided tour: Wednesday 17th. July at 6 p.m. )

Rah Eleh (Canada), František Fekete (Czech Republic), Mahmoud Khaled (Egypt), Ayqa Khan (United States), and Joshua Vettivelu (Canada)

curated by: Noor Banghu (Canada)

graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek

Digitalia is a guest-curated exhibition of multi-media work, deliberating on the use of social media as both an accessible art form and cultural landscape. The exhibition is curated by Noor Bhangu and features work by Rah Eleh (Canada), František Fekete (Czech Republic), Mahmoud Khaled (Egypt), Ayqa Khan (United States), and Joshua Vettivelu (Canada).

This exhibition takes as a possible starting point the concept of “digitalia,” coined by the Canadian film critic, Cameron Bailey, to speak on the convergence of genitalia, marginalia, and wires. Bailey used the concept to interrogate ways in which bodies perform their gender, race, sexuality, and disability through the virtual sphere. “Digitalia,” as a theoretical concept and organizing principle, works to dislodge popular, and accepted, notions of the Internet as a neutral or neutralizing space whose disembodied system is not programmed to recognize embodied difference.

The exhibition will feature multi-media and multi-perspectival work offering various entry points into the question: if the virtual is always allied with disembodiment, what are the options for bodies that think and perform otherwise? By way of inquiry, Digitalia will employ social media sites, primarily generated by user content – Tumblr, Instagram, Youtube, and porn archives – as portals to witness the ways in which embodied subjects embroil themselves into the virtual fabric through their enrolment as active participants.

Partner: Manitoba Arts Council

20. 6. - 7. 7. 2019 (opening: Wednesday 19th of June 2019 at 7 p.m.)

Daniel Burda, Alexandra Cihanská Machová, František Fekete, Anežka Horová, Tereza Chudáčková, Martin Janoušek, Prokop Jelínek, Gabriela Palijová, Veronika Přistoupilová, Alexandra Sihelská, Andrej Sýkora, Lucie Ščurková, Veronika Švecová, Klára Trsková

The exhibition of graduate Master, Bachelor and Semestral works of Center for Audiovisual Studies (CAS) FAMU.

photo by Světlana Malinová

8. - 16. 6. 2019 (opening: Monday 10th of June 2019 at 6 p.m.)

Niels Erhardsen, Světlana Malinová, Hanna Samoson , Borek Smažinka, Isabella Šimek, Leevi Toija, Jakub Tulinger, Kajetán Tvrdík, Petr Vlček

curated by: Václav Janoščík

graphic design: Niels Erhardsen

I need to be myself
I can’t be no one else
I’m feeling supersonic
Give me gin and tonic
You can have it all but how much do you want it?
(Oasis)

When Oasis promises us that we can be supersonic fast when we want to be ourselves, maybe it’s not just about fun, about speed of movement and freedom, about a ride. Perhaps it is also about the social pressure we face. We must be increasingly adaptable, creative, flexible and fast. And we must be happy too.

The art can either react conservatively to this social and informational pressure or try to follow the flow of environmental, psychological or technological issues. The I’m Feeling Supersonic exhibition addresses vigorously, at this speed, some of the most important issues of today.

The key relationship to technologies is no longer an object of speculations, fears or naive hope; all of these much rather concern our everyday experience and feelings. Not only do social networks transform interpersonal relationships, including ideas about love (Isabella Šimek) but the technique itself becomes the object of our interest and empathy (Hanna Samoson and her dismantling and assembling of a scanner).

Even more precarious issues, such as addiction to pornography (Kajetán Tvrdík), oppression of women in various cultural contexts (Jakub Tulinger) and, unfortunately, also child abuse (Petr Vlček) are becoming increasingly discussed. Our psychogeography is still defined by consumer culture (Leevi Toija), spectacularity (Niels Erhardsen) but also precisely by that supersonic speed (Světlana Malinová) and the ubiquitous sense of the end of the world (Borek Smažinka).

Art may have once used to pass on values and beauty to us to make the world a more interesting or safer place. Today, on the contrary, it is criticism and mapping of problems, excesses and pressures by which the art tries to make our world at least more understandable and meaningful when we already know it is neither indestructible nor just ours. We can share our troubles when we know that they can’t be easily fixed.

Therapy, rather than art; tarot card interpretation instead of interpretation as such; feelings instead of talent.

photo by Světlana Malinová

3.- 31. 5. 2019 (opening: Thursday 2nd of May 2019 at 6 p.m, guided tour and closing on Friday 31st of May 2019 at 5 p.m.)

Pavel Havrda, Michal Kindernay, Jana Mercogliano

curated by: Tereza Špinková

graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek

The processes and mechanisms of nature and society follow certain rules. But what happens when equilibrium is disturbed? Can small, invisible changes cause chaos? The artists reflect on these questions and exhibit their thoughts in real time within the gallery space.

photo by Světlana Malinová, Michal Kindernay

4.- 21. 4. 2019 (opening: Wednesday 3th April 2019 at 6 p.m., guided tour with listening session: Wednesdy 10th April 2019 at 6 p.m., during Easter closed: Friday 19th - Sunday 21st April 2019.)

curated by: Alexandra Cihanská Machová & Sara Pinheiro

Regardless is an exhibition dedicated to the pioneers of electronic music and sound-art. The exhibition comprises a series of concerts in the opening event and a guided tour with a listening session.

photo by Alexandra Timpau

7. 3. - 24. 3. 2019 (opening: Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 6 p.m., guided tour: Friday 22nd March 2019 at 6 p.m.)

Artists: Ivana Pavlíčková, Andrea Pekárková, Vít Svoboda

curated by: Viktor Čech

graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek

The exhibition entitled The Economy of Hearing focuses on the idiosyncrasy of that which we tend to view as the natural state of being – we understand the reception of sound input as pure information bereft of the incessant reminiscence of our everpresent embodiment. The exhibition attempts to frame hearing as a bodily and social phenomenon, one which is furthermore inextricably linked not only to our biological essence and individual self identification, but also to the mechanisms of self-care and the commoditization of the human body.

Hearing is one of the primary senses which allow us to interact and communicate with the surrounding world and is something which most of us regard as a given necessity. Our society is deeply rooted in communicating by means of sound expression, which allows us to mutually interact. Listening to speech or music is however just one of the many tasks which the aural organs accommodate.

Sometimes we forget just how much the perception of sound is inextricably connected with our own bodily presence. The physicality of our being in a three-dimensional world correlates with a ubiquitous soundwave soundscape, as much as it does with our perception of balance, determining the position of the body in relation to gravity. The aural organs also play a seminal role in this case as well. Throughout our lives, we move in a macro-world of acoustic ecosystems and within an economy of mutual information exchange carried by acoustic codes, but we also perceive our own physical presence within them in part due to the aforementioned organs.

This exhibition project is not in any way an attempt to enframe a systematic or educational view on the given problematic. It is rather a dialogue of the curator with three artists whose work manifests its particular aspects. It has also definitely been influenced by the curator’s personal experience, and his own particular handicap which forces him to perceive the specific embodiment of hearing, and the often unequal economy of social interaction based around sound perception.

As part of her project “Recreation / Virtual Wellness” Andrea Pekárková has for a long time been developing the questions of creative therapy for issues connected to contemporary technological civilization and its various forms
of psychic hygiene. Her main expressive medium is based on graphic expression carried by a contemporary digital visuality.

In his endless series of figurative drawings and aquarelles, Vít Svoboda rather takes the path of constantly examining the physicality of artistic expression and its relationship to personal bodily identity. The ear and hearing functions as a recurring motif and constitutes a seminal moment of our bodily experience.

Ivana Pavlíčková’s work straddles the overlap between two seemingly opposite artistic worlds. On the one hand, she works through the physical and implicitly material medium of ceramics, and on the other, she develops a virtual world in 3D computer graphics. Much like in today’s world, however, these two levels constantly overlap, for example in our use of touch screen interfaces. Her work thus incessantly leaks between a sensuous specificity of
the object, and its illusory nature. Here, she reacts to perceiving the ear as an organ connected with the moment of physical contact, its sensuousness and personal hygiene, constantly reminding us that hearing is not just an abstract
process.

photo by Oskar Helcel

1.-17. 2. 2019 (opening: Thursday 31st January 2019 at 6 p.m.)

Daniel Burda, František Fekete, Nina Grúňová, Anežka Horová, Alexandra C. Machová, Petr Pololánik, Veronika Přistoupilová, Veronika Švecová, Klára Trsková

curated by: Martin Blažíček

graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek

The group exhibition project Compassion Fatigue is the outcome of shared conversations, revisions of cultural symptoms, social artifacts, political and economic strategies. It straddles the space between a dystopic discourse and a romantic return to physicality, a new ritualism and the esoteric. Its title references the loss of empathy, compassion fatigue, with which we describe the phenomenon of oversaturation with stressful stimuli which eventually leads to an inability to perceive suffering. This leads to passivity, to a state of rigid and melancholic limbo defined by the emotional and physical experience of inevitable decline. The works exhibited try to reflect this newly-born interzone which stretches between a loss of trust in the system and an increasingly pressing search for personal space between a nebulous present and a non-existent future.

photodocumentation by Oskar Helcel

14. 12. 2018 - 27. 1. 2019 (opening: Thursday, 13th December 2018 at 6 p. m.)

Barbora Fastrová & Johana Pošová

curated by: Tereza Jindrová

graphic design: Jaromír Skácel

The discussion on the topic of the upcoming environmental catastrophe and the related themes of sustainable development, nature conservation and ecology have steadily been making their way into Czechia. The joint work of Barbora Fastrová and Johana Pošová has however been developing and exploring the topic of the relationship between culture and nature, of the “natural” and the “artificial” for a long time. The method as well as content of their exhibition Cheap Art for AMU Gallery is recycling. The artists experiment with how far they can influence the preparation of the exhibition and its final form, as well as the audience’s experience of it. They attempt a conscientious approach and strictly use only recycled materials, as well as eschewing the use of electricity.

This attempt at decreasing the production and consumption (of material and energy) is partly “an exercise” in which the artists themselves decide on the rules and the limitations of their work. This is a generally comprehensible gesture which reacts to the society of hyperconsumption, entailing also the art world; this however often hypocritically obfuscates the mechanisms of consumption and waste by implementing a so-called critical discourse. This exhibition project is also a form of immediate experience and an example of failure, tension and ambiguity in determining boundaries. The artists keep in mind the ecological standpoints while also wanting to continue exhibiting and making art. The central reason for producing the exhibition is not to present a perfectly ecological outcome, but rather to demonstrate in practice the difficulties and paradoxes resulting from working with such specific limitations.

Among the values we seek in art, beauty is the most traditional one, the one that is even today generally expected (if not required) from the works of art. Although it is impossible to establish an absolute and universal standard of beauty, we can see that certain objects and motives were and still are (often within otherwise distant cultures) considered to be its quintessential domain

Visual deception, illusion set up by manipulation with the medium (or the model) and facilitated by the preconceptions of the spectator’s eye, features heavily in her work. It thus reminds us that perception itself is not stable and beauty can be seen in unexpected places. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

What does it mean to know how to look at art? It also means “to understand” that what is represented as the subtext of each representation is the artist’s individuality.

Apart from their mutual friendship, the artists share a striving for non-traditional methods of narration. They also share an interest in the themes related to feminine perception of the world, and in the interpretation of emotion and vision.

Finally, we can observe the paradox and absurdity of categorizing that which is feminine and that which is masculine: is meticulous handcraft and housework natural for women while men can inscribe their tempestuous creative climax on the canvas with paint, or is a man the keeper of rationality while woman represents intuition and untrammeled instinct?

However, rather than conducting a purely rational analysis of a particular phenomenon, ### is interested in broader structures and processes

This is the creation of a fecund substrate for experiencing togetherness, responsibility, continuity.

Tenderness and intimacy of the presented works function as a subversive strategy, consciously open to interpretation as a form of parody or caricature.

They remind us of the frailty of all values, power structures, cultures and our own lives. Memory doesn’t exist without time and time fundamentally means disintegration.

As observer we can either recoil from such a painting due to fear, impatience and disinterest, or make our gaze at home in it.

These might be banal thoughts, but maybe we can perceive their obverse side in a certain evacuation of imagination from the contemporary world, or rather in the shift in proportion between (virtual) imagination and (real) experience. ### can also be understood as an analogy to the way the technical image and virtual reality increasingly bleed into the palpable world, and through the quantity of their impulses and increasing perfection (in the mimetic sense) rather transform the capabilities of the imagination into a form of advanced consumption.

The ### exhibition does not set out to formulate a single critical position or to be in any way activist.

### wants to avoid the cliché of the urge to attack or, on the other hand, to defend the necessity and usefulness of art and artists. The subtext to these varied artistic approaches and varied audience reactions to an open concept can be framed by the idea that contemporary artistic production in fact explicitly shows the arbitrariness – which is, in other words, a lack of meaning, or “just” the contextual, historical motivations – which is not however in any way limited to the confines of the art world: it is equally felt, if only differently integrated, evaluated and sublimated, in the “work” experiences of an increasingly vast segment of modern society.

Contemplation within the gallery’s white cube does not create a new reality which wouldn’t be present in the world “outside,” but rather insistently focuses attention to the most banal of facts, generating a certain existential tension. It is about the detail. Changing a part changes the whole.

Simply said, we wanted the manner of the installation to be balanced and aesthetically satisfying; so that it would give each work enough space to stand out.

The final outcome – the exhibition – however shouldn’t be a “ dictionary of intermedia,” but rather should form an organic whole.

To match Nature, or actually surpass it, is an illusory yardstick for the artist, “a hunt for the white whale”, and both artists are well aware of that.

There is no doubt that the exhibition ###  will provoke a contradictory response on the part of the general and professional public. It may produce cracks among the viewers, too, when it comes to questions of taste, invention, relation to tradition, participation as well as the degree of meaningfulness and communicability. However, in any case, I am convinced that the potential discussions to emerge out of these cracks will be of meaning and value.

(recycled curatorial text by Tereza Jindrová)

special thanks to: Jakub Hybler, Matěj Šenkyřík

partners: Ministry of Culture Czech Republic, Institute of Intermedia (IIM)

7. 11. - 2. 12. 2018 (opening: Tuesday, 6. 11. 2018 at 4 p.m.)

Kaitlyn Antoniadis, Liam Axton, Joan Barker, Morgan Beardslee, Amanda Bogatka, Vicky Carrature, Vicky Charles, Vincent Cianni, Marissa Contelmo, Allison DeBritz, Brandon Fiege, Tim Foley, Sarah Horan, Anthony Licata, Jonathan Renino, Mark Lyon, Kristen Matuszak, Lilianna Maxwell, Nicholas Mehedin, Casey Michael Robertson, Leah Renee Monsour, John Murphy, Catherine Nicholson, Jenna Papageorgantis, Dan Pavsic, Greta Pratt, Nick Rouke, Krista Svalbonas, Bruce Wahl, Andrea Wenglowskyj

curated by: Kaitlyn Antoniadis, Anthony Licata, Leah Renee Monsour

graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek

“The fundamental truth of the American Identity lies in its multiplicity. Living in a time of intense political turmoil, the various shades within the American identity are more pronounced, with certain groups threatened more than others. Characteristics such as race, class, gender, and religion have been called to the forefront of national attention by government and resistance leaders alike.

In this collection of photographs, we recognize multiple identities among the people who have passed through the same academic space at various times. By speaking simultaneously about individual identity and shared experience, this show acts as a perfect metaphor for the American Identity: while we remain distinct in history, we are all, ultimately, American.”

(Leah Renee Monsour)

“Issues of identity both illuminate and cloud our vision.  As we become more aware and respectful of the full range of human fulfillment through the embrace of different identities, we become better and more tolerant as humans. On the other hand, as we represent ourselves as more distinct and diverse identities, we become fractured and unable to speak effectively or kindly with each other.  This condition has become the paradox at the heart of the current moment in American culture.  As a nation, we have come a long way since the 1960s in our ability to embrace difference but in that process parts of society have reacted against this openness. Many young artists in the United States are keenly aware of these issues and are making work in response to this condition. The work in this show is a visual response to these issues through photographic explorations by current and former students of the Photography Program in the Art Department at the State University of New Paltz in New York. ”

(Professor Francois Deschamps)

The origin of this exhibition was inspired by a Fulbright Grant to Prague, Czech Republic, undertaken by Francois Deschamps in the spring of 2018 at the Photography program of FAMU, the Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. This exhibition is part of a cultural exchange between FAMU and the State University of New York at New Paltz in New Paltz, NY, where Deschamps teaches. The exchange comprises two parts: an exhibit of works by students at FAMU, Terrestrial Aesthetics, at the State University of New York at New Paltz in October 2018 and the exhibit American Identities at GAMU. These exhibits have been made possible by the Fulbright Foundation with support from FAMU. The exhibition catalog has been funded by the Art Department, the School of Fine and Performing Arts, and the Career Resource Center at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

11. - 28. 10. 2018 (opening: Wednesday, 10. 10. 2018 at 6 p.m.)

Captain Lightfoot (Anneli Holmstrom, Emma Pratt, Kadie Salmon) & Christian Henninger, Nitish Jain, Bára Anna Stejskalová, Eva Urbanová

exhibition concept: Captain Lightfoot

graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek

At least since Wagner’s idea of Gesamtkunstwerk, which dates back more than 150 years, generations of artists have been attracted by the innovative potential of bringing together different art forms. The same is true of the Scottish artist-run collective Captain Lightfoot (Anneli Holmstrom, Emma Pratt and Kadie Salmon), for whom working in an interdisciplinary, collaborative fashion has become their second nature.

At the core of the Memory Palace project lie questions about the source, forms and limits of human creativity, and—first and foremost—a quest to experiment with the creative processes. Four young artists (Christian Henninger, Nitish Jain, Bára Anna Stejskalová and Eva Urbanová) from the Academy of Performing  Arts in Prague were invited to contribute to the project, which was launched by a four-day workshop in April 2018. Intensive artistic research and exchange followed until the Memory Palace exhibition slowly became to take shape.

A big part of the research was directed toward the inter-war avant-garde, drawing inspiration from Dada’s rupturing the link between art and artist’s controlled decision making, Surrealism’s automatic writing and focus on the unconscious, or Moholy-Nagy’s idea of the art object as the catalyst of an interactive event. The technique of „transcendental meditation“—as described and championed by David Lynch—has also served as an important source of ideas for the exhibition, together with sensory deprivation and meditative walks. Memory Palace combines the above mentioned historical references, while using the vocabulary of contemporary art.

The artworks on show are comprised of a series of fictive audios, photo montages and  assemblages of random objects collected by the individual artists during their meditative walks. The architecture of the exhibition is structured as a “memory palace“—an imaginary location in your mind where you can store mnemonic images. It follows a path created in order to store creative inspiration, memories and visual imagery.

Special thanks to:  Viktor Dedek, Robin Holmberg, Matěj Šenkyřík, Miro Tóth

Supported by: European Cultural Foundation (STEP Travel Grants)