On Directing Air, Peter Bartoš, Cyril Blažo, Stano Filko, Petra Feriancová, Květa Fulierová, Július Koller, Rudolf Sikora


2016 On Directing Air. An Exhibition held at amt_project Milan, 2016, ideated by Petra Feriancová (Phoinix) http://amtproject.sk/exhibition/directing-air

Peter Bartoš, Cyril Blažo, Stano Filko, Petra Feriancová, Květa Fulierová, Július Koller, Rudolf Sikora.

On Directing Air.

Epistemology, as well as biology, both recognize irrationality. In biology it is predominantly a reaction, assuming there is stress for time, which often leads to revolutionary solutions. It is possible that irrationality, so closely entwined with an emotion and a subject, can generate the ability for animals to make decisions, which are not controlled by the devised instinctive behavior, but with individual feelings. Maybe this revolution is a fault in evolution. Or it is the result of a balance, which is accordingly paradoxical. Mathematics has the expression Reductio ad absurdum in reference to irrationality. We often perceive the impossible, the absurd or the inability to grasp

and comprehend as something ominous or as a sort of threat. We have a need to quantify and depict everything… even intuition; a pitch that one cannot quite discern or a molecular bond making up the structure of a human tear. We know what it is to look through a fly’s eyes, we have mastered suggestion, perception, the states of human consciousness have long been explored. Yet the subjective emotions, idiosyncrasies and incentives, which guide one’s action and make up an individual are still largely unknown. The whole system, it appears, functions on the constant violation of rules.

When you listen to Peter Bartoš, apart from a taste of a postmodern cocktail you get an intense feeling, as if the basic communication agent – language – had exploded and words flew in all directions. But if you put them back together, everything makes complete sense. Peter Bartoš works the same way he talks. His works act in a similar “volcanic” manner, erratically. The post-production process in the gallery is practically without an end. Nothing is ever settled.

At amt_project's show he asks me to work on his extramural settlement, however I only manage to find some material from when I was walking a dog, documentation pertaining to older houses with gardens and some small villas, which no longer exist. He wants Koller’s work, because as he says, Koller has a question mark, and he, Peter Bartoš, has an exclamation mark.*Naturally also because of Koller’s post production of the everyday, for which I suggest to ask Květa Fulierová to collaborate. And so a fairly discursive installation of images from various sources (my archive, the archive of Květa Fulierová and other works of Peter) takes shape.

Bartoš continues to amend the exhibition, even after the opening, which is slightly reminiscent of Stano Filko, who returned every day to work on his exhibition in amt in 2012. Nor he, nor Bartoš came to the opening of their exhibitions. The difference in this never ending summarization, in the case of both artists, is probably that, Peter fills in and Filko changes concepts, very often with by a palimpsest, or destruction of that, which already exists. For Bartoš the exhibition space is as if a lecture hall and the concepts are didactic tools. He often tells me he is only exhibiting his work so that the exhibition, in this case his extramural settlement, will spark up a discussion and therefore has a meaning, a will move things forward. Both Stano and Peter like to give instructions to someone, who will finish their work for them.

Květa Fulierová’s photographs form a great resource and the basic element of Koller’s work. Relentlessly and readily, she documented most of their time spent together; their travels, the work, the meetings of artists at Kudlakova street number 5, as well as the games for their grandchildren that they invented. Not a single moment is left without a record. It was as if she and Koller orchestrated some kind of a register, a testament to history. It seems that in Koller’s and Květa’s case, each day in the life of a human being was meaningful.

A person of that era, my parents’ era (a generation born during the Second World War, or a few years before), had boundaries left and right, in fact on all sides, but he or she also had the wide sky above. This sky was the Sky of the second half of the last century with first big travels to space. I cannot fully understand the euphoria and the feeling of that period. Whether they truly felt a certain collective pride of a particular achievement of the civilization, without an allegiance to the party. It was the sky or the universe was understood to be apolitical – it was a territory of the infinite, beyond the earthly reality.

In his Gallery Ganku project, Július Koller thematizes the essence of the utopian vision in his unrealizable running of an artistic gallery, located in an inaccessible place in the Tatra Mountains. His mastering of the bureaucratic style is also clear when reading all of the regulations, which he in all seriousness wrote down for the gallery. It is a word-factuality, which adds an almost ironic seriousness to Koller’s utopian concepts. In effect, Koller goes much further – crossing the borders of our geopolitical situation. Superlatively and out of this Earth. Gallery Ganku and its program are intended for the extraterrestrial spectator.

The limited opportunities of that political era created a certain feeling of permanence, stability and security in the sense that art was not and never would become a tool to make a living, and certainly not a way to get rich. Because of that artists experienced more creative freedom. Koller’s colorful paintings made for the Dielo shop are, therefore, not supposed to be understood as halfway solutions, or as a way to avoid plight. In his case there is always a point that he, as the author himself, does not necessarily need or want to be understood by the spectator. Peter Bartoš reminisces that Koller did not even have any extremely provocative intentions, he did not have conflicts with the regime; basically he would see certain magic in those ambivalent situations and then he would work with them further.

His whole body of work is comparable – it is not so much intentional as it is exploratory. Koller does not suffer when he works; he revels on that, which he finds and that gives him unbelievable credibility and at the same time subtlety and ease. Koller institutionalizes each and every moment of his day in this serious easiness, or rather easy seriousness. Daniel Grúň writes of “self-historicizing” in the catalogue of Gallery Ganku.** Self-historicizing, understood in its pure core, where one realizes his or her own temporality. I, myself would take photographs of nothing, only to measure my own time. The act itself was not an image, but a situation where I was wasting both photographic material and my own time.

Pythagoras was the first to identify the diverse content of the world using the word “cosmos”. Cosmos is, apart from the definition of the origin of the world, also a term for individual organization, orderliness. It is an antagonist demarcation of oneself from a parallel phenomenon accompanying the creation of the world, that which is chaos.

The art of Stano Filko is in its size almost a parallel world to ours. With its diversity and corporeality it speaks of an incredible energy, will and talent of one person.***

It is interesting, that this world – a colossus – has an absolutely perfect inner order; it is functional, but also combinatory, also despite many manipulations, moving or even destruction of the works (also by Filko himself). It is possible to rearrange Filko’s work, constantly; and if one starts, it is impossible to stop, one simply has to, wants to orientate oneself in his work – understand it. Even fragments, which were taken out of Filko’s context by force; or even as a part of individual objects or installations, work on their own. They dispose of a large creativeness, which is something I miss as an artist without a studio. Filko’s work left Koliba, it was assembled in Veľká Hradná, there it was taken apart to mere parts, sold and then exhibited again. Even after such a terrible destruction of this world, one can still preceive it and its size is indisputable.

At the same time Filko’s world, or rather his work, is very biographical, almost hypochondrically obsessive. Apart from notoriously known clinical deaths, there are new references about his lifestyle. Filko counts the days passing by. He creates objects out of empty butter milk cartons and mineral water bottles. Perhaps it is an apriori artistic conversion of everything that he comes across, or the bottles have a symbolic meaning. Filko’s mineral water bottles from his last days are punctured with metal rods with ape stuck to them. The bottles were donated during the opening of the exhibition ****and so people could leave with an object, which was a part of Filko’s basic human need. Filko as if ritualizes his day-to-day, which is at the same time known to us all.

Filko constantly recreates and creates new constelations from his own installations and environments. He paints over, rearranges, and dates back, or does not date at all. He always states the older dates, even though the works were post-produced – Filko’s dates almost never correspond to the reality. Filko alone constantly changes them. For Filko time is a subjective matter. Filko creates it. Filko does the opposite of dating back.

*The exclamation point is an important project for Bartoš, as he himself

adds, a breaking point, “it should be in the Slovak National Gallery, I

should ask for it back.”

**Grúň, Daniel, Koller, Július, Galéria Ganku, Schlebrügge.Editor,

Vienna, 2014. 124 p, ISBN 978-3-902833-55-6

***Verwoert, Jan, calls Filko’s work an attempt at

depicting the world, “his work is the world”.


****The last solo exhibition of Stano Filko - erupekcia - orgiazmus -


- yang - jin = slnkomesiac - in life - love - entita - exist - beingsf -

hermafrodit kazdemu podla svojich moznosti a schopnosti - v - in -

5.4.3.d - pre zivot singular truths vsetkych ludi na tejto zemeguli -

tranzscendencie - v - in - existencii - len v 3.d.