galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna / Roma

Stano Filko

Between 1970 and 1971 the Slovakian artist Stano Filko produced five vinyls with conceptual sound recordings. The audio footage consists of spoken words that are repeated at regular and irregular intervals such as cosmos, future, real, atom, the artist’s name and a countdown from 9 to 1. Analogue crackling and hissing fills the silence between the words, which are spoken by Filko himself and are partly artificially distorted. This project of “phonetically conceptual poetry” is dedicated to the universe and the solar system, themes that played a major role in the artist’s work during these years.


Due to the political situation in former Czechoslovakia in the 1970s, there were hardly any opportunities for artists to work or exhibit publicly. Filko spent these years isolated from the international art world in the underground scene, while beginning to develop his own world system, a cosmology, through which he was able to articulate himself as an artist. This cosmology became a comprehensive conceptual program with references to art and cultural history as well as philosophy and from then on built the basis for his comprehensive artistic practice. For Filko, the period of isolation ended for the time being when he immigrated to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1981, where he took part in documenta 7 in Kassel one year later.