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Jozef Ciller


After graduating from the School of Applied Arts in Železný Brod (having studied glass with Prof. S. Libenský), between 1961 and 1963 he studied architecture at the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava with Prof. V. Karfík and set design at the University of Performing Arts (VŠMU) under the tutelage of Prof. L. Vychodil (1963-68). He is a professor and head of the Department of Set and Costume Design at the VŠMU, teaching since 1990 (theatre work and set design, and applied graphics). He has collaborated with Slovak, Czech and other foreign theatres. As an art designer and pedagogue he has worked in twenty countries, creating some 450 set designs not only for theatre but also for film and television. In the Czech Republic he belongs to the best known Slovak set designers. He has participated in the Summer Shakespeare Festival at Prague Castle, for which he created sets for King Lear (2002) and Romeo and Juliet (2004, both productions directed by M. Huba), cooperated with the National Theatre in Brno on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor (2001), with the Moravian Theatre in Olomouc on Shakespeare’s Henry IV. (2002), with Prague’s Divadlo Na Fidlovačce on The Ballad for a Bandit (designing the set for the film version too). He also designed the sets for the musical The Gypsy Camp Goes to the Heavens, staged at the Divadlo Bez zábradlí theatre (2004), and Sherman’s play When She Danced (2005, translation and stage direction: A. Nellis). He has collaborated with the National Theatre Drama section since 1981, where he designed sets for Gorky’s Summer Guests, directed by Ľ. Vajdička, with whom he subsequently collaborated on several occasions – for example, on the productions of Schiller’s Intrigue and Love (1982), Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (1984), Molière’s Le Misanthrope (1986), Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman (1998) and Schiller’s Mary Stuart (2000). Furthermore, for the National Theatre Drama he has designed sets for the productions of Šulaj’s On the Doggy and the Pussy (1994), Marivaux’s The Double Inconstancy (1994), Dorst’s Mr Paul (1995). He has collaborated with the stage director I. Rajmont on numerous occasions, designing sets for his productions in theatres in Martin, Ústí nad Labem, Bratislava, Jaroslavl and others, in the National Theatre for Cymbeline (1995), Othello (1998) Antony and Cleopatra (1999) and Schnitzler’s Far and Wide (2005) and Stoppard’s Rock’n’Roll (2007). For the National Theatre Opera he has designed sets for the production of Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila (2006), Smetana's opera The Kiss (2007) and Verdi's Falstaff (2008). As a set designer he has taken part in a number of exhibitions, including international competitive exhibitions of set design and theatre architecture, for example, in Moscow, at Biennale San Pablo, in Regensburg, Warsaw and Vienna. His work has also been displayed at the Prague Quadriennale. He has also devoted to special projects and installations, including, for example, the art display at EXPO Sevilla 1992 and a display of Historical Slovak Altars at Paris's Grand Palais in 1991. He has won two gold medals at the Prague Quadriennale (1975 and1983) and one silver medal (1987). He was awarded a medal also at Triennale Novi Sad and in 1991 he received the Guardian Critics Choice Edinburgh prize. From the Club of Friends of Czech Culture in Slovakia he was awarded the Karel Čapek Prize 2003 for practical application of Czecho-Slovak reciprocity; he is the holder of the DOSKY 2004 award for the production Tiso staged at the Arena in Bratislava (script and direction: R. Ballek). Of no lesser importance is the 2002 City of Martin Prize, which is annually awarded to citizens who have extraordinary merit in representing the city worldwide.Update: April 2008