Július Koller

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Meeting of the organisational committee for Koller's U.F.O. Ganek Gallery, 1982. Milan Adamčiak, Igor Gazdík, Július Koller (centre), Pavol Breier, Peter Meluzin. Photo: Květoslava Fulierová. Source.
Born May 28, 1939(1939-05-28)
Piešťany, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia)
Died August 17, 2007(2007-08-17) (aged 68)
Bratislava, Slovakia
Collections Art museums in Slovakia (Web umenia), Kontakt, Tate, Pompidou, Generali, Galerie Martin Janda (Vienna), gb agency (Paris), Museum of Art Łódź
Web CEAD, Artyčok TV, Wikipedia-SK

Július Koller (1939, Piešťany - 2007, Bratislava) was a Slovak artist.

In 1965, the same year that the Slovak Actionist group HAPPSOC released their manifesto, Július Koller published his manifesto "Anti-Happening (System of Subjective Objectivity)", which defined the artist's anti-Happening works enacted throughout the late 1960s. Unlike Happenings, where the focus is on action, anti-Happenings concentrate on the cultural reshaping of the subject, making those who participate in the work more aware of their surroundings. During one such anti-Happening, for example, Koller repainted the white lines that defined the structure of a tennis court.

Koller's technique of imbuing simple symbols with complex meanings is explained in his Mini-Koncepcie maxi-ideí (U.F.O.) [Mini-Concepts of Maxi Ideas] (1974), a series of simple text works that play on the term "UFO". Beginning in 1970, Koller took annual self-portraits, calling himself a UFO-naut while obscuring his body with random, banal objects—for example, he held a ping-pong ball in front of his eyes with glasses. Sports, such as tennis, held appeal for Koller as symbols of playful protest—as critic Jan Verwoert put it, ping-pong "represents the possibility of a more playful society in the face of socialist standardization". Koller titled each of these self-portraits some variation of the acronym UFO: Univerzálny Filozoficky Ornament [Universal Philosophical Ornament] (1978), Underground Fantastic Organization (1975), etc. Koller also developed the fictitious gallery project titled U.F.O. Galéria – Galéria Ganku, Vysoké Tatry [U.F.O. Gallery Ganek, High Tatras], which began with a concept around a site in the Slovak mountains to later include bureaucratic documents and structures such as a Board in 1981 (its members were Milan Adamčiak, Pavol Breier, Igor Gazdík, Peter Meluzin, and Koller himself). In 2009, the Július Koller Society was established in order to preserve Koller's work. (Source)

Works (selection)[edit]

For more works visit collections listed above.

Exhibitions[edit]

Solo exhibitions and collaborations
  • Park kultúry a oddychu, Bratislava, 1965.
  • Galéria mladých, Bratislava, 1967.
  • Permanentná demystifikácia 1., 2., V-klub, Bratislava, 1968.
  • with Peter Bartoš, Permanentná Antigaléria [The Permanent Anti-gallery], the display window of the Komunálna opravovňa pančúch [Hosiery Express Repair] shop, Bratislava, 1968-69.
  • J.K. Ping-Pong Club, Galéria mladých, Bratislava, Mar 1970.
  • Textilné obrazy, Štátny výskumný ústav textilný, Bratislava, 1974.
  • Nová vážnosť, Kostol klarisiek, Galéria SFVU, Bratislava, 1990.
  • Post-komunikácia, Považská galéria umenia, Žilina, 1991.
  • Sondy, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, Nov 1991 - Jan 1992; Štátna galéria, Banská Bystrica, 1992. Curated by Aurel Hrabušický.
  • Tatranská galéria, Horný Smokovec, 1993.
  • Hore-dole, Umelecká beseda Slovenska, Bratislava, 1993.
  • Subjekty a reality z r.1968, Galéria Nova, Bratislava, 1995.
  • J.K. - Univerzálne futurologické obrazy, Galéria SOGA, Bratislava, 1999.
  • To, čo sa deje, Štúdio S, Bratislava, 1999.
  • Partitúry a znaky, Vlastivedné múzeum, Trebišov, 1999.
  • Anti-obrazy I. (Textextily), Linea Gallery, Bratislava, 29 Jul - 27 Oct 2002. Curated by Petra Hanáková.
  • Cikcaková kultúrna situácia – výber z tvorby J.K., CC Centrum, Bratislava, 2002.
  • Univerzálne Futurologické Operácie, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 19 Jul - 21 Sep 2003. Curated by Roman Ondák. Review: Jan Verwoert (Frieze 2003 EN).
  • Anti-obrazy II. (Reality), Linea Gallery, Bratislava, 4 Aug - 31 Oct 2003.
  • with Roman Ondák, Teenagers, Display Gallery, Prague, 2003. [1] [2]
  • Július Koller – Kontakt, Kunstraum München, Munich, 2004.
  • Július Koller, Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery, Berlin, 2004.
  • Marec, poberáš sa starec?, Tranzit, Bratislava, 23 Mar - 17 Apr 2005. [3]
  • Július Koller and Jirí Kovanda, Index, Stockholm, 7 Jun - 10 Sep 2006.
  • Július Koller, Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, 24 Jan - 24 Feb 2007.
  • J.K.U.F.O., Slovenský inštitút, Prague, 2007.
  • Space is the Place, gb agency, Paris, 2 Jun - 21 Jul 2007. Video interview.
  • More, Kressling Gallery, Bratislava, 25 Oct - 20 Nov 2007. Curated by Vladimir Beskid. [4]
  • Július Koller a jeho priatelia, Typo & Ars, Bratislava, 2008. Group show. [5]
  • with Jiří Kovanda, The Steins #7, Ludlow 38, New York City, 10 Jul - 16 Aug 2009. Curated by Tobi Maier.
  • Július Koller, Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, 24 Mar - 30 Apr 2010.
  • Vedecko-fantastická retrospektíva / Science-Fiction Retrospective, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, 23 Apr - 20 Jun 2010. Curated by Aurel Hrabušický and Petra Hanáková. [6]. Video report (Artycok TV, EN subs). Review: Daniela Čarná (Rider 2010 EN). Commentaries: Alena Vrbanová (Jazdec 2010 SK).
  • Anti-obrazy III. (Spomienky), Linea Gallery, Bratislava, 26 Apr - 11 Jun 2010.
  • Atlas of Fantastic Science - From the Július Koller Visual Archive, Kunstraum Lakeside, 30 Mar - 20 May 2011. Curated by Daniel Grúň.
  • U.F.O. NAUT JK (Július Koller) orquestada por Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kurimanzutto, Mexico, 2012.
  • Mini-Concepts / Maxi-ideas, gb agency, Paris, 2 Jun - 21 Jul 2012.
  • Archiv Júliuse Kollera: Badatelna / Július Koler Archive: Study Room, Tranzitdisplay, Prague, 11 Sep - 11 Nov 2012. Curated by Tomáš Pospiszyl.
  • U.F.O.–NAUT JK (Július Koller) orchestrated by Rirkrit Tiravanija, Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, 10 Apr - 25 May 2013.
  • A. for Atlantis, gb agency, Paris, 31 Jan - 21 Mar 2015.
  • Situaciones Culturales, Casas Riegner, Bogotá, 11 Mar - 28 Apr 2015.
  • "?", Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 25 Sep 2015 - 10 Jan 2016. Curated by Daniel Grúň, Kathrin Rhomberg and Georg Schöllhammer.
  • Július Koller: One Man Anti Show, mumok, Vienna, 25 Nov 2016 - 17 Apr 2017. Curated by Daniel Grúň, Kathrin Rhomberg, and Georg Schöllhammer. [7]
  • Selected exhibitions (incl. group shows), 1968-1989.

Artist's books[edit]

  • Kriticko-konštruktívna aktivita. Koncepty a akcie, c1970 (samizdat). (Slovak)
  • "Z autorských programov a akcií", in Výtvarný život 8 (1970), p 41. (Slovak)
  • with Kveta Fulierová, Amo amare, ed. Petra Hanáková, Bratislava: Sputnik Editions, 2013, 100 pp. [8] (English)
  • with Kveta Fulierová, J+K, ed. Petra Feriancová, Bratislava: Sputnik Editions, 2014, 100 pp. [9] (English)/(Slovak)

Catalogues[edit]

  • Július Koller: Sondy (Probes), ed. Aurel Hrabušický, Galéria súčasného umenia Slovenskej národnej galérie, 1992, [38] pp. (Slovak)/(English)
  • Julius Koller: Univerzálne Futurologické Operácie, eds. Kathrin Rhomberg and Roman Ondák, Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Kölnischer Kunstverein, and tranzit, 2003, 248 pp. With texts by Georg Schöllhammer and Vít Havránek; conversations with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Roman Ondák. [10] (English)/(German)/(Slovak)
  • Július Koller a jeho priatelia, ed. Peter Čepec, Bratislava: Typo & Ars, 2008, DVD. (Slovak)
  • with Jiří Kovanda, The Steins #7, New York: Ludlow 38, 2009, [8] pp. With texts by Tobi Maier, Klara Kemp-Welch, and interview with Kovanda. (English)
  • Július Koller: vedecko-fantastická retrospektíva / Science-Fiction Retrospective, eds. Petra Hanáková and Aurel Hrabušický, Bratislava: Slovak National Gallery, 2010, 366 pp. With texts by Petra Hanáková, Katarina Bajcurová, Kvetoslava Fulierová, Aurel Hrabušický, Alexandra Kusá, Georg Schöllhammer. [11] (Slovak)/(English)
  • Daniel Grúň, Tomáš Pospiszyl, Archiv Júliuse Kollera: Badatelna / Július Koller Archive: Study Room, Prague: tranzit.cz, 2012, 24 pp. (Slovak),(Czech)/(English)
  • Július Koller: One Man Anti Show, eds. Daniel Grúň, Kathrin Rhomberg and Georg Schöllhammer, Vienna: mumok, and Cologne: Buchhandlung Walter König, 2016, 388 pp. Texts: Daniel Grúň, Cristina Freire, Reiner Fuchs, Aurel Hrabušický, Karola Kraus, Joanna Mytkowska, Kathrin Rhomberg, Georg Schöllhammer. [12] (German)
    • Július Koller: One Man Anti Show, eds. Daniel Grúň, Kathrin Rhomberg and Georg Schöllhammer, Vienna: mumok, and Cologne: Buchhandlung Walter König, 2016, 320 pp. [13] (English)

Interviews[edit]

Literature[edit]

See also catalogues.

See also[edit]

Links[edit]