House of Conflicts? UMPRUM at the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture in Brno

9. 12. 2022 - 1. 2. 2023
Opening: December 8th, 2022 at 6 pm

UM Gallery, UMPRUM, nám. Jana Palacha 80, Praha 1
Open: Mon-Sat 10 am – 6 pm

House of Conflicts? UMPRUM at the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture in Brno

Since its inception at the Academy of arts, Architecture, and design, UMPRUM has actively participated in a number of international and domestic exhibitions. House of Conflicts? UMPRUM at the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture in Brno is an exhibition in the UM Gallery that represents one example of these presentation activities. In doing so, it highlights not only the contemporary event, for which Pavel Janák specially designed a model house in 1928 but also the internal ideological crisis in which the school found itself from the mid-1920s onwards.

Although the School of Arts and Design tried to present a unified image during its appearance at the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture in Brno in 1928, visitors at the time could not help but notice the contradictory creative approaches in its presentation. On this occasion, Pavel Janák, an architect and long-time teacher, realized a model family house with a shop and an exhibition space. The experimental building was an attempt to simplify and speed up construction by implementing a new layout according to hygiene and standardization requirements. The house reflected the divergent tendencies between academic work and constructivist architecture, but also between Janák's openness to contemporary modernism and the nationally conservative representation of the educational institution.

The exhibition of contemporary culture in Brno was a unique opportunity for the school, as it was the first time it could build a model house. The Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design collaborated on the problem of housing and tastefully furnishing living needs", noted the then-rector Jaroslav Benda. On the one hand, Janák's house thus responded to the housing crisis through the rationalisation of architecture, new building techniques, and materials. On the other hand, however, its furnishings and art-industrial exhibits were far from the ideas of the contemporary avant-garde and were largely neglected by both critics and later art history literature.

The exhibition "House of Conflicts" shows for the first time the designs of Janák's house, his sketches, and photographs of the furnishings designed by students of the then the Academy of arts, architecture, and design from the archives of the National Technical Museum. There are also original exhibits now stored in the Moravian Gallery or overlooked in the corners of the school building. The works, along with the interiors of the house, will also be presented through large-format photographs produced by CANON CZ and originally taken by the Atelier de Sandalo in Brno, which became famous for its images of interwar architecture in Czechoslovakia. The exhibition is also accompanied by an expert essay including previously unprocessed archival sources.

The presentation of the Academy of arts, architecture, and design thus brought with it several conflicts, from its preparation to its contemporary reception to the tension between the architecture of the house and its displays. For the first time, the exhibition "House of conflicts" offers a comprehensive view of these contradictions, including the housing debates of the time. In doing so, it aims not only to highlight its historical forms but also to encourage reflection on the role of the school in the context of the current housing crisis.


Curator of the exhibition: Pavel Liška
Collaboration: Národní technické muzeum
Architecture: Pavel Liška
Graphic design: Petr Franc, and Konrád Karlík.


The exhibition was created in cooperation with the National Technical Museum.

The main partner of the exhibition is CANON CZ, which technically realized large-format prints of photographs.

Printing technology used: imagePROGRAF PRO-6100, material IJM416 Image Canvas 375 g/m²

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