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24. June 2016 — 25. September 2016
Esterházyho palác, 3. poschodie, átrium, Bratislava
Curator: Gregorová Stach, Lucia (koncepcia výstavy) , Aurel Hrabušický

“There has never been a time when I found it easy or hard to create. It’s because I don’t create, it’s my inner fanatic duty.” Stano Filko, 1996

From 1956 to 1959, Stano Filko (1937 Veľká Hradná – 2015 Bratislava)studied at the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Bratislava and from 1959 to 1965 at the studio of monumental painting at the Academy of Fine Arts under professor Peter Matejka.

"He is part of the generation of artists who caused an upheaval in the relatively conservative cultural environment of Slovakia in the mid-1960s. In addition to SF, artists such as Alex Mlynárčik, Július Koller, Peter Bartoš and Jana Želibská appeared on the scene and clearly followed the trends of the art schools from around the world and in the process successfully created their original and personal versions." Aurel Hrabušický

The exhibition Poézia o priestore – kozme / Poetry on Space – Cosmos represents Filko’s work and thinking in the 1960s and 1970s, extended by newer work, layers of artistic interventions and the retroactive arrangement of meanings. The title, which is comprised of three words which were crucial for SF, was derived from the environment of the same title that was exhibited at EXPO 1970 in Osaka, Japan. This was where his artistic success and traveling plans culminated. A promising international career ended for a long period of time due to the political and social consequences of the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact armies in 1968. Almost all of the doors of institutions were closed to him and he spent the 1970s as the spiritus movens of the unofficial art scene. Even then he was looking for an environment which would be freer – he travelled and exhibited in Yugoslavia, Hungary and Poland. He completed this chapter in 1981 when he emigrated to the Federative Republic of Germany in his white Škoda 120. A year later, he exhibited it as his Eastern European physical and mental “baggage” at documenta 7, Kassel. In December 1982, he moved to America, the land of his dreams, and lived in New York until 1990, when he returned to Slovakia and permanently deepened his artistic vision until the last moments of his life.

To present the artist’s oeuvre, albeit of only a particular period, is a challenging curatorial task due to the vigour with which he influenced and altered exhibition practice. „Even during his lifetime he became an institution, his own museum which he materialized in 1975 in the studio on Snežienková Street in Bratislava, and in 2005 as Koráb (Ship) in his hometown of Veľká Hradná. Although both projects ended as ruins of utopian visions, he left complicated instructions in his concepts, text arts and endless letters in the SF Archive files.” Lucia Gregorová Stach

This exhibition is designed according to selected themes based on the art-historical research of his work, while taking into consideration his arrangements in the relevant selected phases of SF System development. The issues related to the SF Archive as an autonomous work which preserves the principles of this thinking in a specific language and conceptual perception of time are presented here as an independent subject.  

The themes are composed of the artist’s symbolism of three fundamental colors of the early SF System (red, blue, white – later symbols of three 3.4.5. dimensions along with the black of EGO) while the advanced SF System in the synthesis of his late work is also indicated.

This exhibition is structured in six units:
I. Poetry on Space – Cosmos (Introduction)
II. Dwelling of Contemporaneity and Reality
III. Red – Biology 3.D
IV. Blue – Cosmology 4.D
V. White – Ontology 5.D
VI. EGO & SF System

More than 150 artworks and two archive binders containing approximately 120 works will be presented at the exhibition. This multi-media display contains sculptures and objects (altars of contemporaneity) from the 1960s, two environments from the same period, sound-art work on LPs from the early 1970s, film and installations of the artist’s slides. A number of early works on paper which reveal the artist’s mind in the 1960s and 1970s are also on display. They are presented in a wide array of project sketches, drawings, text-art and photo-installations. 

Environment Kozmos (1967 – 1968) has not been exhibited in 47 years; in fact, this is its first showing in Slovakia. Also for the first time, Univerzálne prostredie (1966 – 1967) (Universal Environment) will be exhibited with several original components (globes, radio, slide projector) as a result of the SNG’s research of the collection and archive SF.

More than a third of this artwork has never been exhibited and approximately one third of the artwork on paper was displayed at the FILKO – FYLKO – PHYLKO exhibition prepared by the Slovak National Gallery in cooperation with Zachęta – the National Gallery of Art in Warsaw in 2015 (curator: Joanna Kordjak, Lucia Gregorová Stach). 

List of Galleries, Museums, Private Collections and Collectors

Zbierka a archív Stana Filka z majetku dedičov Stana Filka deponovaná v SNG (Zbierka SF, SNG a Archív SF, SNG) | Collection and Archive of Stano Filko courtesy heirs of Stano Filko researched at SNG, Bratislava; Zbierka Linea | Linea Collection, Bratislava; Zbierka Prvej slovenskej investičnej skupiny, a. s., Bratislava | Collection of the First Slovak Investment Group, a. s., Bratislava (PSIS); Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Bratislava City Gallery, Bratislava; Stredoslovenská galéria | Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica (SGBB); Dušan Brozman, Ivan Jančár, Michal M. Murin, Rudolf Sikora and others; Art Fond – Stredoeurópsky fond súčasného umenia | Art Fond – Central European Fond of Contemporary Art

Project Assistant: Štefan Cebo
Curatorial Cooperation: Lucia Gavulová
Graphic Design: Matúš Lelovský


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