Picture and its context 1

Subject is not scheduled Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
307EPC1 credit 2 English winter

Subject guarantor

Štěpánka ŠIMLOVÁ

Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

Throughout the year-long course, students will have an opportunity to be confronted and eventually analyze the power of images, which span from historic images, paintings, and video-art, to memes, advertisements, and feature film making. Students will also be shown some of the most unique films in the history of cinema, which are rich and heavy on visual narration, and its excellence is deeply rooted in a picture rather than a script or spoken word. Students who will choose to attend this course will be confronted with the challenges of visual narration in many forms. Through exercising their imagination, and a deep analysis of well-curated film screenings, students will have an opportunity to understand the power of visual information that almost always exists in a broader context - formal, conceptual, social, political or individual. Understanding and possibly changing that context can bring a playful way how to understand the importance of the psychological and contextual power of the image itself. Understanding the context in which visual information is presented offers almost endless possibilities for the auteur to deliver his/her story in his/her unique way.

The course has the ambition to inspire students to experiment and lose fear from an ambiguity coming from the visual narration, and enhance student´s imagination, whilst freeing them from an obsession with literary-based ideas. Picture and its Context is a weekly exercise in student's imagination and instead of burdening students with an academic approach, offers a playful and experiential way of learning of the use of images.

Mode of study

The course will be held weekly and will be heavily based on a discussion over screened material. The course needs to serve as a platform for exercising visual thinking, student's imagination, and understanding visual shortcuts, that usually broaden the context of the used image. For this goal, the course will be structured: short introduction + projection of material + analysis/discussion.

it is essential the seminar will be held as a safe space to discuss and open many (and sometimes even controversial) themes. Therefore the delivery of the themes will also depend on the dynamics between students and their demands discussed at the beginning of the seminar. Picture and its Context is a weekly dose of encouragement for the students to deliver their ideas in a more complex way, that could have a stronger impact, and their eventual art-works even more profound meaning.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

Students applying for this course should be naturally curious personality, should not fetishize originality, should be able to see things in layered nuances, and had an open-minded attitude toward the creative process where no idea or picture stands singularly alone, but rather in a complex context of the intertwined universe of meanings. They should be willing to listen and articulate their feelings and understandings and be ready to be challenged in order to widen their limits of imagination.

Course contents

A year-long course consisting from introductions + curated film or image projections + profound analyses and discussions – PICTURE AND ITS CONTEXT has set an aim to bring students whose work is based in any form of visuality an understanding of how a well-chosen image or (set of images creating a situation) can be enriched with a more than depicted - literal meaning, if it exists in a context with other images or situations, that (in succession, juxtaposition..etc) exists in spectators collective or personal memory. With a help of curated film projections of films that are heavy on visual narration and their message dwells „out of frame“, i will attempt to inspire students to rely on their imagination and free themselves of textual obsession, replacing it with powerful metaphors, symbolism, and visual representation of their story to tell.

Recommended or required reading

from Plato to Wittgenstein and Barthes

from caves of Altamira to Tintoretoo and David Lynch

from maps of the night sky and labyrinths, to tarot cards

Assessment methods and criteria

Students will need to attend screenings regularly and actively engage in conversations and dialogues that will be vital for the course. At the end of each semester, students will be asked to come up with a visual representation of the chosen theme. Form of the final result will be not set and students will be encouraged to experiment and deliver an out-of-the-box final result that will be aligned with student's personal interests and will showcase the power of their imagination and broader understanding of possibilities of visual narration.



Further information

Course may be repeated

This course is an elective for all students of this school

Schedule for winter semester 2022/2023:

room 124
Projection Room

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
hybrid teaching
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Thu 09:50–12:15 Ladislav BABUŠČÁK Projection Room
Lažanský palác
hybrid teaching lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2022/2023:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans