Visual artist Tomáš Svoboda’s multimedia installation Silent Disco (2023), created specifically for the main lobby of the Gallery of Modern Art in Hradec Králové, tries to answer the question of what key factor has influenced Czech society over the past three decades.
The inclination towards individualism that is one legacy of the transformation years of the 1990s in the Czech Republic has, among other things, made it difficult or impossible to find solutions to the pressing social issues facing our country. If the word “we” continues to have a negative connotation that brings to mind the era of state socialism, there is no chance of addressing problems that require social consensus, solidarity, and generosity. The “I” triumphs, but at the price of dancing on a sinking dance floor.
Tomáš Svoboda (*1974) is a graduate of Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts (AVU). He subsequently earned a doctorate from the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design. In 2006, he was a finalist for the Jindřich Chalupecký Award. He is a co-founder of Prague’s Display Gallery, head of the New Media I Studio at AVU, and one of just a few Czech artists to also engage in exhibition design. In his conceptually-oriented art, he has long explored film and the influence of text and images on how people talk and think. He works with video, painting, photography, and performance. His work also includes feature-length films.