Things Rise As One / Exhibition of works by students of the UMPRUM Visual Arts master’s program
Created: 11. 5. 2022 from Vysoká škola uměleckoprůmyslová v Praze

Things Rise As One

Exhibition of works by students of the UMPRUM Visual Arts master’s program


4th May 2022 – 19th June 2022

Galerie FaVU, Údolní 53, Brno

Open daily from 10am to 6pm


“On your way up, show consideration / To the ones you meet on their way down. / The Latin root of condescension / Means we all sink.”  
Seamus Heaney

This exhibition, therefore, results from the challenges faced by students listed above, but is especially a manifestation of how the aforementioned “alternative approaches” can lead to unexpected results. Specifically, the working method the VA students were asked to adhere to in order to create works for this exhibition was as follows: 1) identify a phenomenon that they found morally problematic, 2) reflect on the root causes and particular context that allows that phenomenon to exist, and 3) working with a partner, create work(s) and pieces of accompanying text that empathetically reflect on it. Given the students’ variety of cultural, technical, and aesthetic backgrounds, the resulting works and reflections range from the more oblique to the more direct and result from a variety of collaborative approaches.

Beyond the pedagogic aims of this project (encouraging teamwork and experimentation in both concept and form), however, the broader curatorial goal is to explore and reinforce the potential for empathy in contemporary art-making. With war raging in multiple countries across the globe, polarized public discourses often taking place in impersonal fora, the spreading of false information, and rapid environmental degradation (to name just a few of our global ills), attempting to understand another’s genuinely-held viewpoint – no matter how repulsive it may be to you- can be a radical, difficult, and dangerous act. To what extent can you understand the motivations of someone who participates in a book burning? Can man’s destruction of nature be understood not as an act of pure evil, but rather a manifestation of a pervasive human failing? Can natural resources be treated with compassion and understanding? In this exhibition, the students of the UMPRUM Visual Arts master’s program respond to these questions in both written and visual form.

As a pedagogic and curatorial experiment, therefore, the realization of this exhibition has hopefully been beneficial for the students on professional, practical, and artistic levels. That said, the degree to which it functions as an accessible and thought-provoking exhibition remains to be seen. Are the presented works and accompanying texts obvious results of an empathetic stance? Do they therefore encourage the empathy of their viewers? The curatorial team certainly hopes so.


Exhibiting artists:
Ana-Maria Băescu, Pol Arenas, Juliana Castaño Olivares, Ilya Kreines, Joanie Guerrero, Kintija Elina Karaša, Ting Yu Shih, Mizuki Sukagawa, Amelélie Tazarourte, Daniil Tsvetkov, Ana Luisa Hinojosa Torres, Chen-Ting Wei, Ian Young, Tongpu Zhang, Rajat Arya, Utku Kocak, Hung-Chiao Shih, Lavanya Thakur, Ema Veljanoska

Curator: Conrad Eric Armstrong
Curatorial assistance: Utku Kocak, Rodrigo Rosa
Exhibition graphic design: Kintija Elīna Karaša, Lene Zech
Production and translation: Hana Smělá