In today's art, photography plays a major role, having, at the same time, much more facets than any other artistic discipline. Photography is a moving thing. By abandoning the solid, fixed core one uncovers its greatest asset: a missing aesthetic pattern and multitude of rhetorical forms used to express facts, fiction and imagination. Today's photography is not just about capturing a moment or a fragment of reality - it is also about the artistic concepts used in doing so. Photography itself is changing constantly, resulting in significant shifts in its documentary character. When studying photography, one has to look at all of its aspects - photography as an artistic discipline, photography in amateur production, applied photography, etc. - and the mutual relations between them. Hence, the study of photography is both a study of an artistic discipline and a social phenomenon.
The main principles of studio are:
- Conceptual thinking: Ways of generating creative impulses, of defining the project at its outset and after its completion. A way of addressing issues and finding solutions.
- Craftsmanship itself should not be the ultimate target, yet still has to be one of the highest priorities. Without technical and technological knowledge the student has to depend on crude and primitive methods.
- Critical thinking: Students have to learn to articulate their thoughts, find sound arguments, be able to react to the suggestions of others and employ knowledge obtained from technical literature and other sources. Critical thinking helps to define a position towards the environment and to create works of art capable of appealing to the wider public.
- Social skills: Mutual communication and interaction during assignments requiring good teamwork.
- Professional future: All students should leave the studio capable of presenting their skills by means of an exhibition, portfolio or website; in addition, they should be able to write a text to supplement their work, prepare a good CV and lead professional discussions with individuals or institutions.
The study is complemented with regular workshops and discussions with contemporary Czech and foreign artists. In addition to practical courses, students attend theoretical lectures about the history, philosophy and technology of photography. The study involves regular trips to domestic and foreign cultural centres and scholarship exchange programmes with renowned institutes abroad.
The Studio of Photography was founded in 1995 by Pavel Štecha, becoming one of the then five Studios of the Department of Graphic Arts.
Notable artists connected with the studio include Jiří Thýn, Salim Issa, Štěpánka Stein and Alena Kotzmannová.