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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.