Július Koller, U.F.O.-naut?

The Július Koller Society and the Slovak National Gallery are proud to present the first international conference on the oeuvre of Július Koller (1939–2007).

Date: 23–26 April 2009

Slovak National Gallery
Riečna 1
T: 421 254 43 20 81

Conference information:
In Bratislava: Silvia Morávková,, T: 421 254 43 0746

In its stringency, obsession and peculiarity, the oeuvre of Július Koller is one of the most erratic and consistent in European art since the 1960s. Yet Koller is not only a seminal figure in the history of the neo- and post-avant-garde; his work has long been a critical inspiration for artists and intellectuals. In the most recent past, Kollers concepts of the Anti-Happening, the Anti-Picture, the Universal-cultural Futurological Operation (U.F.O.), his actions, objects, texts and the enormous referential archive he built up, have attracted growing interest on the part of a broader art public, and his works have found their way into major collections and museums all over Europe and beyond.

This first international conference on the oeuvre of Július Koller aims to discover new methodological and theoretical prospects for interpreting and presenting the artists practice, the vast extent, comprehensive approach and conceptual rigour of which is becoming increasingly evident. This and the topicality of Kollers artistic method – his strategy of using real objects, the real world, everyday life as a given program for an aesthetic operation, an endless aesthetic displacement intended to put an end to aesthetics – are subjects of analysis and debate between local and international scholars. The conference provides new opportunities to meet and hear from Kollers most important and influential contemporaries as well as younger artists from both Eastern and Western Europe, thus enabling a reappraisal of the influence of Koller’s work on post-conceptual tendencies in contemporary art. During the conference, the Slovak National Gallery and the Július Koller Society present a research exhibition of Kollers works from their collections.

The conference lays the groundwork for a catalogue raisonné and a large monographic exhibition at the Slovak National Gallery, scheduled for spring 2010, and followed by an international tour through major museums and art institutions.

Conference Programme

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Screening of films on Július Koller

Friday, 24 April 2009

10:00 Welcome address, Katarína Bajcurová (Director of the Slovak National Gallery)

Introductory note, Georg Schöllhammer (The Július Koller Society, Bratislava)

First Session 11:00-13:30
Moderator: Mária Hlavajová (BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht)

11:00 Insight Július Koller
Petra Hanáková (Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava), "Diagnosis of Kollers inheritance"

Aurel Hrabušický (Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava), "About the intelligible Július Koller and the non-intelligible Stano Filko"

12:15 Panel
László Beke (Budapest), Branka Stipančić (Zagreb) and Aurel Hrabušický

13:00–13:30 Discussion

13:30–15:00 Lunch Break

Second session: 15:00–17:30
Moderator: Mária Hlavajová

15:00 Insight Július Koller
Daniel Grúň (Academy of Fine Arts, Bratislava), "Július Koller as a collector of cultural situations"

Jan Verwoert (frieze, Berlin/London)

16:15 Panel
Silvia Eiblmayr (commissioner for the Austrian Pavilion at the
53rd International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia 2009, with V. Export), Tom Holert (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna), Vít Havránek (, Prague) and Jan Verwoert

17:00–17:30 Discussion

17:30 Coffee Break

18:00 Insight Július Koller
Dušan Brozman, "yes-no: ambiguities in Slovak conceptual art during normalisation era"

18:30 Artists Panel
Moderator: Kathrin Rhomberg (6th Berlin Biennale, Berlin)
Mladen Stilinović (Zagreb), Josef Dabernig (Vienna), Boris Ondreička
(, Bratislava), Florian Pumhösl (Vienna) and Kateřina Šedá (Prague)

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Third Session 10:30–13:00
Moderated by Charles Esche (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven)

10:30 Insight Július Koller
Lucia Gregorová (Bratislava) "Kollers interpretation of the changing socio-political situation"

Łukasz Ronduda (Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw)

11:45 Panel
Zuzana Bartošová (Institute of Art History, Slovak Academy of Science, Bratislava), Nataša Ilić (WHW, Zagreb and 11th Istanbul Biennale), Jiří Ševčík (Academy of Fine Arts, Prague) and Łukasz Ronduda

12:30–13:00 Discussion

13:00–14:30 Lunch Break

Fourth Session 14:30–17:00
Moderated by Charles Esche

14:30 Insight Július Koller
Katarína Müllerová (Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava) "Reflections on Kollers work in foreign expert texts, taking into account the terminological difficulties in translations"

Andrea Giunta (University of Texas, Austin)

15:45 Panel
Lynne Cooke (DIA Art Foundation, New York / Centro Reina Sofia, Madrid – tbc), Joanna Mytkowska (Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw), Georg Schöllhammer and Andrea Giunta

16:30–17:00 Discussion

17:00 Coffee Break

17:30 Insight Július Koller
Vladimíra Büngerová: "Koller in a team (Kollers cooperation with other authors, especially in association with Nová vážnosť [New Seriousness])"

18:00 Artists Panel
Moderation: Vít Havránek
Peter Bartoš (Bratislava), Ľubomír Ďurček (Bratislava), Peter Rónai (Bratislava) and Peter Čepec (Bratislava)

Sunday, 26 April 09

10:30 Hans Ulrich Obrist: Július Koller Interview Marathon
Milan Adamčiak, László Beke, Klaus Groh, Stano Filko, Alex Mlynárčik, Mladen Stilinović, Timm Ulrichs, Jiří Valoch, Tomáš Strauss, Gábor Hushegyi and others

Lunch/ Conference concludes

The programme is subject to change.

Shuttle Service from Vienna:
Between Friday 24 and Sunday 26 April 2009 a free daily bus service Vienna – Bratislava – Vienna is available.
Information:; reservation:

"Július Koller U.F.O.-naut?" is a co-production of The Július Koller Society and The Slovak National Gallery

The Július Koller Society
Honorary President: Květoslava Fulierová
Founding Members: Georg Schöllhammer (chair), Mária Hlavajová, Aurel Hrabušický, Naďa Lovišková, Roman Ondák, Boris Ondreička, Kathrin Rhomberg.
Researcher: Daniel Grúň
Organization: Ina Mertens

Slovak National Gallery
Director General: Katarína Bajcurová
Researchers: Vladimíra Büngerová, Petra Hanáková, Aurel Hrabušický, Katarína Müllerová
Organization: Communication centre SNG, Secretariat of Art Collections SNG - Ľuba Maceková, Silvia Morávková

Made possible by:
With the support of Erste Bank Group, Vienna;, Bratislava.