PLAN_T: Čestmír Suška

How does sculpture enter the public space? What are the conditions under which bold realisations are created here? And who shapes and influences the form of the spaces around us? The guest of today’s interview is Čestmír Suška, a leading Czech sculptor, now known mainly for his unique steel sculptures that he creates from old cisterns.

“It takes courage and determination to make a great sculptural realization, perhaps also a bit of madness,” Čestmír Suška begins the interview. “Then you need a space where you make the sculptures,” he adds. Such a building – a former warehouse Suška acquired in the Bubec studio. Bubec is an open art studio where Suška has built a larger artistic infrastructure around him. Part of the Bubec operation is Suška’s team of professionals who help him work on the sculptures. He has also opened the studio to other artists who not only work in the hall, but often exhibit together. “We function there like a sculpture factory,” Suška explains. Young art students come there for workshops and Bubec also functions as an educational institution.

Suška works mainly with transformation in his work, leaving the shape of a tree, cistern or stone legible. He tries to find a balance between the original and the new shape. He also includes the concepts of recycling and sustainability in his vocabulary. The principles of recycling and sustainability, along with preserving the history of a unique place, are embodied in Sušek’s realization for the open-air collection Odkolekce in Vysočany. For Čestmir Suška, this location is unique, as he spent his childhood there. It was interesting for him to be able to return to the site of the former Odkolka bakery again, but also to collaborate with the curator Petr Volf.

“There was a cistern in the building where flour was processed, it was a very interesting object in itself and I was able to transform it into a sculpture. I dismantled it and put it together in a different mode, carving a little bit into it,” says the maker of the sculpture, which is also known locally as the rocket. The sculpture can be seen in the area all the time, for now it is in a temporary location, after the completion of phase 3 of the construction it will move to its final location. In his opinion, the uncollection is one of the exceptionally high quality realizations in public space.

In order to increase the number of high quality realizations in Prague, Suška also founded the m3 festival. The festival has an artistic council, every year a different curator works on the program, who addresses artists who create the sculpture object for the festival and for the given (the festival takes place in a different part of Prague every year) place. This year’s edition will take place in the summer on the Černý most, Čestmír Suška invites all fans to the festival.