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Interventions and Artworks

Public Space

Breathing: The Celebration of Air / Dýchanie: oslava vzduchu, 1970

Tarpaulin, electric motor, fan
Ø 550cm

Courtesy The Slovak National Gallery

The year 1970 marked an important turning point in the history of the neo-avant-gardes. In Czechoslovakia artists began to increasingly undertake actions, multimedia installations, and interventions in public space. Stano Filko is also known for his installations in public spaces, by means of which he resisted the monumental representations of the socialist régime and opened up a more far-reaching reality.

In his public installations Filko uses a (retro-)futurist formal language and turns to the cosmic space. The dynamic environment Breathing: The Celebration of Air (1970) can be understood as a key early work in Filko’s cosmic consciousness. With the spherical form of this installation that looks like a giant balloon Filko draws on a trend toward geodetic structures that had been particularly popular in the progressive architecture of the 1960s. The monumental object is reminiscent of a spacecraft or a mechanical organ. In the interior, the air is made to circulate, so that the round shape continually expands and deflates. With this dynamic movement, Filko is referring to breathing and connecting this basic function of the human body with the pulsations of the universe. This historical installation will be on show as an intervention during the exhibition opening.

For the exhibition finissage a one-day action will take place around the HALLE FÜR KUNST. Twelve outsized balloon objects, 12 Colors of Reality (Balloons) (19782011), will be presented in the City Park. They represent the artist’s color system, which began with the three colors red, blue, and white but that Filko then developed into his System SF with a total of twelve colors, each of which has a symbolic meaning determined by the artist as well as embodying specific dimensions and chakras. Via these twelve monumental balloon objects Filko’s system is extended into the Graz City Park, which thus becomes a part of his cosmic visions.

Especially after the defeat of the Prague Spring in 1968 artistic freedom was severely restricted in Czechoslovakia. With his sound works Filko further pursues the idea of the open work of art and also creates an alternative form of publicity. In 1971/72 Filko added his own voice to his artistic cosmos by recording it for vinyl. Based on this, there will be a sound installation in the exterior of HALLE FÜR KUNST, in which Filko’s voice will be heard projecting into the four directions of the compass and speaking as on his own record: kozmos,” futúr,” atom,” and real.”

The large installation The Pyramid (1995), currently presented on the roof of HALLE FÜR KUNST, has a comparable place on the legendary artists’ studio Snežienková, which stands on a hill on the northern margin of Bratislava and offers a wide-ranging view of the city and its environs. According to Filko’s understanding, both the pyramid and the associated figure of the triangle are obvious shapes for embodying the cosmos. The artist strongly identifies with the universe and thus it is no surprise that he sees these shapes as symbols by means of which his own self is projected into a transcendental and more comprehensive form, whereby this can also be seen as conceptual self-portrait.

One of Filko’s sculptural rockets is also presented temporarily on the roof of the museum, DSUQ 4.D. Rocket (2000). The rocket is a recurring motif in Filko’s work. Its elongated and phallic form is like a projectile, with which Filko recalls the utopian potential of the early days of space travel and the historical context of the Cold War, as well as their ideological and power-based fantasies.


Breathing: The Celebration of Air / Dýchanie: oslava vzduchu, 1970
Tarpaulin, electric motor, fan
Ø 550 cm
Courtesy The Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava

12 Colors of Reality (Balloons) / 12 farieb reality (Balóny), 1978 – 2011
Textile and other materials, electric motor, fan
12 pieces each Ø 300 cm
Courtesy The Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava


The Pyramid / Pyramída, 1995
Plastic tubes, paint
390550550 cm

DSUQ 4.D. Rocket / DSQ 4.D. Raketa, 2000
Metal sheet, acrylic
4004949 cm

Digitized sound transferred from 4 vinyl records

All works if not otherwise stated Courtesy Linea Collection, Bratislava; Layr, Vienna