workTaking over

Taking over

Spatial Installation | 2009
for the 4th biennial Exit
Galerie Emila Filly in Ústí nad Labem

Aluzinc trapezoidal steel sheet and various materials
dimensions: 630x300 cm

"Uniform prefabricated blocks of metal plated "parks", centers, cloned-colonies are brazenly being erected in our countryside. The value of empty space, public space or the actual land is becoming a mere concept, while the Cultural and the Natural memory of the landscape has already disappeared from our own individual memory."

This project, which is loosely related to some of my previous works, directs attention to a phenomenon of Czech landscape transformation, both urban and rural. It mostly adverts to massive industrial building developments, and the development of warehouses and shopping centers on the outskirts but also in centers of our cities. It draws attention to suburban horizontal developments, located in the original rural areas that are missing natural centers and thus lacking any form of social bonds. The project also addresses careless seizing of "green fields" - fertile land and flooding zones, which could be solved by more effective capacity utilization of brown-fields and by not expanding peripheries. Long distance haulage of identical but cheaper goods across nations and continents intensifies the transport and forces a transformation of our environment into expressways and highways, parking lots and transit warehouses, resulting in local business and the regional self-sustainability liquidation.

The value of common public spaces and free spaces in general is not fully appreciated and is without sufficient support of the responsible institutions. Landscape management and administration is mainly directed at historical centers or National Parks and Reservations but neglects attention leading to enhancement of general environment and to sustainable development. The alternative means of transport, ways of living and thinking are still rather "alternative".

The local unique landscape and countryside has been undergoing intensive transformations and utilization over the past centuries, yet those were typically gradual, sometimes even valuable, changes. I am not a conservation movement supporter but I do advocate for considerate and sensitive approach of a man (mainly those involved in the legal process - investors and politicians) to our environment. Aborting development and building industry altogether is not a solution, however, caring about where, how and under what conditions may be one. "Public Interest", term so frequently mentioned in argumentation, is unfortunately being so often misinterpreted as a necessity for fulfilling ,present primarily economical needs and the quick profit efforts, instead of understanding it as a necessity to implement long term plans and especially interpreting it as an attempt to understand the principles of nature vs mankind and individual vs mankind coexistence.

Exhibition review, Flou Magazine 09/10 (extract)

The work by Libor Svoboda is the evidentest work in the exhibition. The form, material and structure are side-specific and start a dialog between the viewer itself and the room all well. You begin to think about globalisation, history and roods and the dimension of transfer. Is it a possibility or a bane? What does it mean? In front of the work you are also lost, a kind of product and you start questioning yourself.
– Susan Donath

flyer Exit a.a.O., Berlin (pdf)