THE SCENE DESIGNER IN THE CO-ORDINATES OF HIS WORK (VLADIMIR SUCHANEK AND THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF SLOVAK NATIONAL THEATRE) (Scenograf v suradniciach javiskovej tvorby (Vladimir Suchanek a 90 rokov SND))
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This year, Slovak National Theatre celebrated its 90th anniversary. A few of those active here in the previous years or those who are employed here recently spent all their creative life as a part of this institution. One of those was the scene designer Vladimir Suchanek (1934), engaged immediately after the graduation. Over the forty years he created dozens of scenic compositions and influenced the artistic views on art in the National Theatre, insights into his own aesthetic aims and objectives of this theatre. At the same time, however, he stood in the shadow of his mentor and 'superior', chief of creative arts section and theatre workshops - Ladislav Vychodil. And even the international success and awards at the Prague Quadrennial did not change this situation. Vladimir Suchanek worked in tandem with the director Pavol Haspra. Genre palette of his scenic works was done predominantly on the request. Haspra was especially in favour of heartbreaking stories and full blooded characters. He believed, and it seems that he had found the key to unlock a genre of tragic farce as showed his original adaptations of King John (Dürrenmatt, 1970), The Magnificent Cuckold (Crommelynck, 1972), An Attempt to Fly (Radickov, 1980) Pigeons and Sulek ( Podhradsky, 1981). The director and the designer shared a common understanding of artistic shortcuts and combinations of 'quasi' genre attributes, symbols, visualizations, which often tended to gain almost a naively childish form. At least in the 'A Flying Cart' or 'Calendar of Life and Death' (both of these plays) was Suchanek not just 'a set designer', but together with Haspra also a co-director. The author, who closely cooperated for decades as a literary advisor with Vladimir Suchanek, gives an account of a remarkable personality of Slovak scene design in the second half of the 20th century.
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