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

Accompanying program:

  • 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.

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

Accompanying program:

  • 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

I.
Une balancoire entrelacé a la terre
Une glissade a gauche , a droit un deboulé
ecarté
Devant le deboulé un defilé glissé
en dedan sciseaux jeté
a gauche ballon en l air au milieu

II.
Enchainement des preparatioin a une grande apotheose
En l air feerie des attitudes elevées
Defilé des aplombs posés
Les demi- caractere relevé
Tourbillon des reverences

III.
Entré des pas de bouré
Les attitude elevé detourné
Apotheose abaissé
Ballon par terre

IV.
Échapé bourré retiré en promenade
Temps de l´ange
Echappé frappé par élevation arrondi
Pas de deux passés changés
en promenade
Les bras assemblés

V.
Enchainement des contretemps
Entrée des pistolets
Echappé fouetté
Battement tendu
Battement coupé
Échapé chasé
Cou de pied emboité
en descandant le deboulé échappé demiplié
pas failli
echappé devant le défillé
echappé piqué
les ciseaux ouvert devant le defilé

VI.
Une élevation arrondi retirée derriere
balancoir entrelacé
Feérie des temps lié ua passé effacé
Dégagement d ´équilibre couru

I.
na zemi pohodená prepletená hojdačka
na ľavo kĺzačka, na pravo odľahlý prudký
zjazd
pred zjazdom klzká úžina, v nej pohodené
nožnice
v strede balón vo vzduchu

II.
sled príprav
na veľkú oslavu
vo vzduchu čaro vznešených postojov
sprievod hraných sebavedomí, šľachetných polocharakterov
vír poklôn

III.
vstup opitých krokov
vznešené postoje obmenené
veľká oslava oslabená
balón na zemi

IV.
osamelý opitý unikajúci na prechádzke
čas anjela
unikajúci unesený zaoblenou vznešenosťou
kroky dvoch zmenených minulostí na prechádzke
spojené náruče

V.
sled neočakávaných udalostí
vstup pištolí
bičovaný utečenec
napäté bitie
prerušené bitie
hnaný unikajúci
vykĺbený priehlavok, schádzajúc prudký zjazd utečenec zohnutý
krok omylu
unikajúci pred úžinou
bodnutý unikajúci
pred úžinou otvorené nožnice

VI.
zaoblená vznešenosť opustená za
prepletenou hojdačkou
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.

Video I.
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

Video II.
Le Roi danse:
dancer: Jakub Češpivo
camera: Ivan Svoboda
music: Spotify – výběr Jakuba Češpivo

Video III.
Dance:
camera: Ivan Svoboda
music: Jean Babtiste Lully, Le Roi Danse
speech: Zdeńka Brungot-Svíteková, Jakub Češpivo

 

Alain Badiou_Dance as a Metaphor for Though_Excerpt

 

photo by Miroslava Konečná

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.

video Miroslava Konečná

photo Světlana Malinová

Center for Audiovisual Studies at FAMU

17. - 26. 1. 2020 (opening: Thursday 16th. January 2020 at 6 PM)

Ezra Šimek, Veronika Čechmánková, Alžběta Čermáková, Karin Petrič, Polina Davydenko, Světlana Malinová

curated by: Inka Karčáková, Richard Janeček

graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek

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.

video Miroslava Konečná

photo Max Vajt

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.

text Vojtěch Märc

video Miroslava Konečná

photo Max Vajt

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

production: Bubahof

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.

video Miroslava Konečná

photo Max Vajt

This project was supported by the Foundation for Contemporary Art and Gestor – The Union for the Protection of Authorship.

11. 9. - 29. 9. 2019 (opening: Tuesday 10th. September 2019 at 6 pm, commented tour and exhibition closing: Sunday 29th. September 2019 at 5 pm)

Valentýna Janů, Johana Novotná, Richard Janeček, Zheng Minghui, Veronika Čechmánková, Svetlana Malinová

curated by: Václav Janoščík

graphic design: Jan Slabihoudek

The exhibition of the students of FAMU’s Department of Photography aims to show some current perspectives on contemporary art’s relation to photography, imagination and social issues.

Can baking bread be a liberating act?
Do you see the same blue I do?
How much money would a hired friend charge for chatting or for going shopping?
Will we ever live on Mars?

Problems, time, human experience and many other basic things have been changing significantly. It is as if today’s world which is overflowing with information, images and (fake) news had no use for protests and activisms. As if it weren’t enough to communicate, especially through social media. As if the era of personalized consumerism, wellness and adrenalin sports left no room for completely banal, everyday experiences.

It feels as if we should return to those basic things – whether that means baking bread, watching the world go by, personal conversation or even art. At least those working in the ever-changing field of art should stop lying to themselves that it is enough, or in fact even possible, to continue as we are.

The questions remain:

What can cooking offer me?
What if I never manage to see blue like you?
What if women make better art than men?
What if it’s you that I’m lacking in my life?

 

video by Miroslava Konečná

 

photo by Světlana Malinová

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.

video by Miroslava Konečná

photo by Světlana Malinová

Partner: Manitoba Arts Council and Ontario 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