Josef Svoboda 100
The Arts and Theatre Institute (ATI) has organised the exhibition JOSEF SVOBODA 100 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the scenographer Josef Svoboda (1920–2002). The concept for the exhibition is based on a recapitulation of more than thirty of the most technically and artistically important Czech and international productions he staged. It spans a period of almost sixty years, and incorporates Svoboda’s collaboration with the most outstanding directors of Czech and world theatre. Because of the current exceptional measures that are in place, the ATI’s commemoration of Josef Svoboda will take place in a virtual environment in the form of an online exhibition.
“Josef Svoboda has raised technology to the level of an artistic means of expression: with its help, he creates a metaphorical stage environment, whose structure is tangible, architectural, and philosophical. He has incorporated all artistic as well as technical operations into the term ‘scenography’: artistic prerequisites and education, a sense for stage direction, and skill using auxiliary fields – lighting, mathematics, physics, and optics. Detailed knowledge of these matters allows the scenographer to control the space of the entire theatre, both the stage and the auditorium.”
Věra Ptáčková: Josef Svoboda, Theatre Institute, 1983
“I realised that Svoboda’s work, which, at first glance appears so diverse, is actually very compact. As time progressed, I became increasingly interested in Svoboda’s combined dramaturgical, directorial, and scenographic approach to the staged work. I came to understand his obsession with theatre. This passion went hand in hand with his fascination with technological innovations.”
Helena Albertová: Josef Svoboda – Scenographer, Arts and Theatre Institute, 2012