Josef Svoboda 100

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The year 2020 is the anniversary of scenographer Josef Svoboda (1920-2002). His name is associated with many theatres in the Czech Republic and abroad – mainly Laterna Magika and the National Theatre in Prague, Metropolitan Opera in New York, Sferisterio di Macerata, Covent Garden in London, and many others. Speaking of Josef Svoboda, the obsession with theatre went hand in hand with his fascination with technical and technological discoveries.

The 100th anniversary of this outstanding figure is the opportunity to organize many activities remembering his legacy.

The general public can remember Josef Svoboda’s work at the online exhibition prepared by the Arts and Theatre Institute this spring.

Czech Radio Vltava made a five-episode series, in which Josef Svoboda’s associates and relatives share their memories. The series starts on 5 September.

In association with the Dusík Theatre in Čáslav, theatre researcher Helena Albertová arranged a retrospective exhibition you can see in the theatre foyer until 27 October 2020.

The multimedia exhibition Josef Svoboda – Scenographer will take place in GASK – the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region in Kutná Hora from 10 October 2020 to 31 January 2021.

The exhibition will open with the launch of the book Architecture of the Imaginary, the printed lectures Josef Svoboda held at the Scenography Seminar at the Paolo Grassi School of Dramatic Arts in Milan in 1986.

“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

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