Photogallery from the opening of the exhibition at Salon of Czech and Slovak Scenography 2018 by Vladimír Burian at Flickr.
The title of this specific form of an exhibition refers to so called “French Salons”, which started in Paris during the 17th century. The Salons were originally organized as private events, opened only to carefully chosen artists, but the form of the exhibition later extended (it was first organized by the circle around Odilon Redon in 1884, under the variated title „des Indépendents“) but the principle was clear from the beginning: to gather the artists in one place, so they can show their work (“encounter”) and talk about it together (“meeting”). The Salon of Czech and Slovak Scenography shares the same aim: to present scenography works from past four years and to become a meeting point for the artists.
The outstanding personalities of Czechoslovak scenography, such as Josef Svoboda, František Troster, Ladislav Vychodil, Ludmila Purkyňová, Aleš Votava, and Jaroslav Malina, have established the position of the discipline at the world’s top, and have inspired theatre makers from all over the world. The success triggered the oldest and most comprehensive world showcase of stage design, theatre costumes and architecture Prague Quadrennial, which takes place once in four years in Prague. Since 1977, in the interim between PQs, the National Showcases of Czech Scenography were established as a national pre-selection for the participation at the PQ (1977, 1981, 1986, 1989). The aim of the Showcases was to observe the state of Czech scenic, costume and puppet art. The Showcases were later replaced by the Salon of Czech Scenography, which first took place in the foyer of The New Stage in 1991 as a part of the PQ’s off-programme.
The exhibition today can be attended by established scenographers, costume, lighting, sound or video designers as well as students of art subjects, who work for theatre projects in the Czech Republic or Slovakia, or Czech and Slovak authors who work for projects abroad. The Salon isn’t limited to one genre and is open to drama, music and puppet theatre, film, TV, site specific projects, and presents exhibits of various forms – drafts, models, photography, costumes, masks, props, video and installations.
The Salon is currently the only and biggest showcase of contemporary trends in stage design as well as a platform for exchanging intellectual, aesthetic and cultural impulses in scenic design. Other than the possibility to present own work outside of theatre space and to open a discussion outside of academic environment, the Salon is also an opportunity to join diverse formats of discussion (especially the Symposium Half-life ) on the topic of contemporary (Czech) scenography and it’s national and international dimension.