Eva Filov├í (* 1968)
No Difference, 2001
6 tetrapack objects, printing, laminated paper, milk powder
from the collection of the Museum of Art in ┼Żilina
acquired by purchase from the artist in 2017
Eva Filov├í’s works cross the boundaries of the concept of radical privacy, I guess the most, and in her case the statement that private / personal / female is political is really valid. Stepping out is a consistent critical approach to selected aspects of social, cultural and political reality in Slovakia, which it comments very openly, which is the essence of her provocative artistic language.
Eva Filov├í reaches for elements in the realization of mixed media forms of works, which on the one hand refer to privacy – e.g. a series of pieces of clothing in black and white (non-) color, consisting of pieces of underwear, provided with terms originating from opposing liberal and conservative camps (celibacy, pro-choice, separation, registered partnership, etc.) – in the series Engaged Wardrobe (2006 – 2014) ), whether they come from the political-social sphere – as unused ballots, which she illustrated with erotic drawings (Sweet Tomorrows series, 1992 – 2002). But also those that undermine the still present “ostalgia” – polystyrene letters from agitation boards, which, however, consist of sarcastic and subversive texts (Ve─żk├Ż testament, 2003).
The artist’s video work is similarly characterized by a radical accent. The artist (and in this case it is really a committed approach) expresses a supportive opinion on the free choice of women in abortion issues and also responds to the close connection of Slovak politics with the Catholic Church (video Opportunity of Choice, 2003). A particular section of her work is the submersive deconstruction of gender stereotypes which are mainly found in Slovak folk traditions, e.g. “┼íiba─Źka” – in the video Initiation of Fertility (2003), which she realized with the artist Peter Kalmus.
The series of objects No Difference was created for the exhibition Large Milk (Nitra Gallery), whose simple concept – to compose an exhibition of artistic reactions and interpretations on the theme of milk, was an artistic initiative. The exhibition foreshadowed the following gallery and curatorial activities of artists in the zero years (eg the establishment of the Bratislava Gallery HIT), but at the same time was proof that even a banal concept can achieve a special result. From the formal point of view, the artist’s realization is completely in the intention of the topic – they are tetrapack boxes (usually filled with dairy products, filled with powdered milk here, and still characterized by the appropriate scent). However, when processing / redesigning the packaging, the artist used the method of appropriating images from other spheres – from art history to porn magazines in aesthetics typical for neoconceptual art, which also works with images from the world of pop culture and advertising, and thus ironically commented on the factor of several functions of the female body.
The work was included in a collection presenting the works of selected Slovak artists at the international art show Gender Check in 2009 in Vienna, which was the first comprehensive exhibition presenting art from Eastern Europe since the 60.s in terms of gender roles.