Step Aside

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

Accompanying program:

  • The Need for Soil Care (panel discussion) – 2nd of September, 6 PM

photo Světlana Malinová