After nearly ten years Ostrava became a scene for the International Sculpture Symposium called LANDEK 02 from July 14 to August 10. 2002. As for the sculpture symposiums although Ostrava has not very rich past, it has an important past. In 1967 the first International Symposium of three-dimensional forms was held there and among participants there were artists like Stefan Belohradsky, Janez Boljka, Jerzy Januszkiewicz, Jo Oda, Barna von Sartory, Franitsek Storek, Ales Vesely and architects Josef Havlicek and Jan Pavlovsky. Two years later the participants were sculptors Nicloa Carrino, Otto Clenciala, Karel Neprs, Karl Age Riget, Yves Trudeau, Rudolf Valenta and architects Bronislav Firla and Radim Ulman. Valuable collection of monumental sculptures should have been created in this famous city of iron and fire and these objects would be permanently placed in the J. A. Komensky Gardens on the bank of the Ostravica river. Altogether thirteen sculptures were made on these symposiums that reflected period influences and trends. These sculpture symposiums meant a real challenge for some artists such as Karel Nepras that died some time ago. The participation in the symposium of three-dimensional forms in Ostrava meant a real creative turning point for him: he discovered cast-iron there as a new sculpture material and since then he was used metal founding methods and primitive locomoter mechanisms. However at the beginning of the 70′ the works were removed from the city park or irrecoverably destroyed, for example works of J. Boljka, N. Carrino, K. Nepras, Ka A. Riget, Jo Oda and B. von Sartory. The remaining artists worrying that their works might end up likewise took their works home or transferred them to a safer place, for example F. Storek who dedicated his sculpture to Hlucin town. Ostrava thus lost not only number of valuable works of art but also cultural reputation.
The reputation was supposed to be remedied in 1993/1994 by the international art in Ostrava and the Art Gallery in Ostrava together with Vitkovice, a.s. company, Nova Hut, a.s. company, Iniversity of Ostrava, Technical university – Mining College in Ostrava and Ostrava municipalůity. At least some artists that left thier imprint in Ostrava in the sixties participated in that symposium: Nicola Carrino from Italy, Karel Nepras from the Czech republic, Barna von Sartory from Germany and Jo Oda from Japan. Their works are situated in the Milada Horakova Park even though some of them were already damaged by vandals and ravages of time.
Number of sculpture symposiums that has been held on various places of our republic since the nineties has been inspired by traditions – hewing of iron (international gathering of artistic blacksmiths in Helfstyn called Hefaiston), wood (symposium called Wood carving in Zdar nad Sazavou, wood symposium Stromovka in Ceske Budejovice, sculpture symposium Sloup in Olomouc) or stone (International Sculpture symposium Dzban – Hredle since 1992, using local plaener, International Granite Symposium in Jindrichuv Hradec that continued the tradition of Granite Sculpture Symposium in Milevsko, Onternational Symposium Lemberk, etc.). Some sculpture symposiums have problems to place sculptures made there. However that should not be the case in Ostrava as a shortage of works of art in the streets and partks of Ostrava is evident although things are getting better lately. Since the very beginning of the sculpture symposium LANDEK 02 it was known where the individual sculptures would be placed. That is why a sculptor Josef Anderle composed his work as an interesting climbing frame – as his work will be a part of a playground in Stonava. Graceful sculpture by Bosse Andersson called Ritual Place will be placed in the center of Havirov. Sculptures by Erich Reischke and Shinji Sakai (just before his departure to CR Shinji’s father died at the age of 101 and that is why he called his work Dialogue between father and mother) will be placed in the Milada Horakova Park in Osrava and powerful sculpture Pénelopé and Odysseus by Janusz Owsiany will be placed in the J. A. Komensky Gardens. The work of Vaclav Litvan called Rules of Jungle will remain in the Mining Museum as an artistic element.
According to Martin Kuchar a symposium organizer, people have inconsistent attitude towards sculptures. “The older people are somehow embarrassed. A sculpture is somehow undiscovered for them. In the past a sculpture was more a piety symbol for them in front of which they used to place wreaths. They did not perceive sculptures as a part of a place where they live, they lacked the firsthand contact. Young people are different. Children are nest of all because they perceive sculptures absolutely spontaneously and naturally. During the symposium also students used to come here. Great thing about students is the fact they do not have any language barrier and so they could easily communicate with all memebers of the symposium” said Martin Kuchar.
The International Sculpture Symposium LANDEK 02 in Ostrava brought first fruits, so hopefully we can look for some more in two years time …