Ladislav Svoboda: Artistic Spectrum Disorders

On view from April 10th to May 30th 2018 at Artwall Gallery, Embankment kpt. Jaroše and Edvarda Beneše.  An accompanying exhibition of Ladislav Svoboda’s work will take place at Kampus Hybernská from April 10th to May 1st. Opening will take place on April 10st in Kampus Hybernská, Hybernská 4, Prague 1.

Artistic Spectrum Disorders exhibition, organized in cooperation with the Studio of Joyful Creation (A.R.T.) and Barvolam, is not only a presentation of the work by Ladislav Svoboda, but also a probe testing the concept of what is referred to as "normal".
 
Where are the limits of normality? And is not the concept of normality itself a discrimination of people who are so-called neuroatypical? Ladislav Svoboda belongs to these people, but his motivation does not differ from thousands of artists without a diagnosis. "Painting is my passion," he says. "It gives me energy and a new taste for life. I have the opportunity to express my thoughts. I feel like I can pass on something to other people. It is a tremendous force that can be used for something good. It is like a sea from which new things and ideas can be drawn."
 
The current exhibition is trying to show that the boundary between "normal" and "handicapped" is rather arbitrary. Similarly, creativity is not divided into "normal" and neuroatypical and does not belong to a privileged few. Otto Kouwen, the founder of Barvolam, adds: "The label “handicapped” only concerns with what a person cannot do and does not say anything about her or his abilities and talents. We should support artists with mental disabilities or autism so that we do not deny them the possibility to develop their talents, and in doing so deprive the world of learning about their unique artistic testimony."
 
The Artwall Gallery displays one of Svoboda’s paintings captured in five phases of its creation. The viewer passing along the embankment can see how the originally recognizable theme changes under the influence of the artist's unique vision. The painting is based on a photograph by a prominent Russian photographer Valery Melnikov from his series "Black Days of Ukraine", which won the World Press Photo 2017 award. Ladislav Svoboda speaks of the photograph that served as inspiration for his painting: "For me, it represents the immense power of the human spirit that there can be something positive in every horrible moment. To find something good at every moment. One should not give up. War is the most terrible thing that can be."

The Studio of Joyful Creation (A.R.T.) in Letná provides background for approximately tens neurotic artists including Ladislav Svoboda. The association Barvolam specializes in collaborating of artists with the label "mentally disabled" and artists "affected" by academic education.
 
Contacts:
Curators: Zuzana Štefková zuzana@artwallgallery.cz
Contact for media: Ruth Peterová, info@artwallgallery.cz, +420 775 139 267
 
The Studio of Joyful Creation: www.atelierradostnetvorby.cz;
Barvolam: www.jamming.cz
Kampus Hybernská: http://www.kampushybernska.cz
 
The project is realized with kind financial support of the Czech Ministry of Culture, the City of Prague, and Prague 7.
Media contacts are Radio 1, Artmap, Goout, GoOut, and JlbJlt.