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Stano Filko

Exhibition

A Cooperation with the Slovak National Gallery and the Linea Collection, Bratislava

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Stano Filko, Map of the World (Rockets), 1967

Courtesy Linea Collection, Bratislava

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In the era of Central European neo-avant-garde art, Stano Filko was one of the most important proponents of modern Czecho-Slovakian art; his complex oeuvre points to the Fluxus, Nouveau Realisme, Dada, and Pop Art movements. In the mid-1960s, he began to develop environments, installations, pneumatic sculptures, and utopian architecture that reflected his increasing interest in transcendental philosophy, cosmology, and metaphysics. This interest can be felt especially in his happenings and actions in public spaces, which were strongly influenced by Fluxus and represents an integral aspect of his work as a whole. In collaboration with the Slovak National Gallery and the Linea Collection in Bratislava, the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark is taking a fresh look at this enduring influential oeuvre in a retrospective. This exhibition sheds light on the significance of this outstanding great and his progressive plan for society in today’s — less visionary — times.

The architecture of this solo exhibition is based on one of the artist’s most extensive works: The seven rooms of Stano Filko’s studio on Snežienkova Street in Bratislava functioned from 1990 onward as a sounding box for the complex system of symbols and colors he had been working out since the 1970s, with the aid of which he attributed new symbolic importance to everyday objects. Previously, between 1966 and 1970, Filko, who was consistently fascinated by antiart, nihilism, and iconoclasm, had already produced several interactive environments based on his idea of intermedia and interdisciplinarity. Out that evolved the theory-system described above, which in his studio he transferred to his practice by relating it to his own life and sociopolitical events. This Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art,” that Filko created based on his approach of combining obsessive creativity with unique imagination and ability now finds its way to the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark. Here the artist’s multimedia creative work will be comprehensively represented in seven rooms on two exhibition levels.

In addition, two outdoor works are planned that implicitly relate to the artist’s enthusiasm for space flight and the opening up of space: Filko’s Cathedral of Rockets, a model from 1967 for an outdoor sculpture of punched sheet metal, is being built for the first time and when struck by rays of sun- or moonlight will product rockets of light on the façade of the institution in Graz. At the same time, ten rocket-shaped sculptures in various colors will be installed on the roof of the Künstlerhaus and even before they enter direct viewers’ eyes skyward, toward the system above us all.

This project will be supplemented by a supporting and education program as an extensive monographic publication.

Curated by Sandro Droschl