Josef Bolf & Vojtěch Rada

Spannungsbogen 2015/2019

VR experience for HTC Vive

Originally, Spannungsbogen is scene from a housing estate based on an existential painting of Josef Bolf. This scene becomes more tense in the digital environment of the VR experience. In the architectural scenery, footbridges and underpasses lead to nowhere. The only open door leads to the dark inside of an apartment building. Through dark corridors the user finally arrives at a gloomy flat in miniature, where–among digital furniture–dead bodies of animals can be found, the tragic figures from Bolf's paintings have come to life in virtual reality. Josef Bolf is also the author of audioguide: Through his words, the post-apocalyptic scene becomes even more intense. The user learns, that the experience is situated in the time of the artist's adolescence, which was the period of the threat of world nuclear war. This era was a nightmare for a whole generation of socialistic children, born during the period of governance of president Husák.


Duration: Approx. 4 min.

Artists: Josef Bolf & Vojtěch Rada

Music: ba:zel

Commissioned by Jan Freiberg, Galerie Na shledanou     


Spannungsbogen was originally set up within five other VR pieces to create an entire virtual reality experience of the "See You Later" Gallery space (Galerie Na shledanou). The real gallery space (a former cemetery hall) was transformed to virtual reality with its surroundings (like the cemetery or the church) and the whole exhibition. Galerie Na shledanou aims to develop further into interactive artistic and environmental artworks for schools and the public and to establish VR artist residencies.




Josef Bolf (1971) is a well-known Czech painter. His paintings have been settled with strange figures, being half and half animals and humans. Bolf combines cartoon compositions (frame, wording) with omnipresent sadness and vulnerability. His heroes integrate infantile appearance with nostalgia and unexplainable urge for self­‑destruction. Bolf has also created short animated films based on his paintings. Spannungsbogen is his first piece in VR.


Vojtěch Rada (1991) is an architect, sculptor and digital artist.  In his work, he creates  satirical and critical works about the self-respect of architects and the importance of The Architecture. He has been cooperating with several European art museums on developing of educational works in digital media.


Jan Freiberg (1976) is the curator of the Galerie Na shledanou, which he founded in an empty cemetery hall in South Bohemia. He has been conceiving and producing virtual reality in the arts since 2015 with the Galerie Na shledanou brand and in cooperation with Czech and Slovac artists.

If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.