Mgr. Lenka Sýkorová, Ph.D. is an art historian, critic and curator of contemporary fine art. She studied the History of Art at the Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University in Prague. She received her PhD from the Faculty of Art and Design of the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. She has been the curator of the Altán Klamovka Gallery in Prague since 2004. She is the creator of the project Action Galleries. More information in the publication Independent Curating as a Leisure Activity. Since 2014 she has been focused on the medium – drawing. She is the co-author of the project Virtual Biennial Prague concentrates on the International author’s poster in the field of social topics.
Curator of exhibitions in the Czech Republic – The Brno House of Arts, 2016, Regional Gallery of Highlands in Jihlava, 2017, Regional Gallery in Liberec, 2018–2019, in Slovakia – Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, Synagogue – Center for Contemporary Art, 2017 and in China – Pingyao Modern Engineering Technology School Gallery, Pingyao, Shanxi, 2018. She lectured at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Brno University of Technology in the years 2009–2011. She has been active in the Department of the History and Theory of Art in the Faculty of Art and Design of the J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem since 2009. In the years 2018–2019 she graduated six-month research mobility within the project U21 – Quality Human Resources for Strengthening the International Environment in Bratislava, Slovakia. In autumn 2018 she led lectures and workshops at four Academies of Fine Arts in China with focusing on drawing and graphic design.

Wake-Up Call

Social distancing has put a stop to cultural activities that are dependent on visitors and direct interaction. As the first shock passes, it is essential to continue the work because art is necessary for mental hygiene that is still much needed. The role of culture is that of art having the potential to change the future. At the same time, it has proven how safe the online world is because it is hygienic. The same applies in the context of visual literacy. That is the reason the project of Virtual Biennale Prague is even more meaningful than ever. For the 11th Virtual Biennale Prague we decided for the topic Wake-Up Call with the following keywords: climate change, pandemic, responsibility, sustainability, human, nature, public space, all of which are significant for the current times. The main emphasis of my paper is on the power of the gesture captured through drawing, which will be presented in the areas of both graphic design and fine art.  I will focus on the strength of non-verbal communication via pictures created during the pandemic. I will also present the current part of my artistic research, specifically the upcoming publication entitled Drawing as a Non-Verbal Communication Tool, focusing on the central part of the book – the texts written by representatives of both the older and the middle-aged generation of graphic designers who are active as university academics and curators and who introduce the research issue into the international context. I will ask the following questions: Does visual communication help society with psycho hygiene? What role does art play in times of distress? What role does the Internet play here? Will we able to concentrate more on climate change after the quarantine, and will we able to partially help the planet through visual art? I will demonstrate this on examples from the 11th Virtual Biennale Prague Wake-Up Call and other examples of good artistic praxis.