My encounter with Julius Koller

To answer the question I’m sure you asked as soon as you read the title: Julius Koller is a modern artist from Czechoslovakia whose work inspired many until his death in 2007.

Thursday I was lucky enough to visit the modern art museum in Bolzano. I absolutely love visiting museums, I usually find myself alone and admiring the work and trying to get into the mind of the artist. 

If you don’t have even a slight interest in modern art, maybe you should check out another blog for now but I figured I would take this chance to tell you about my new favorite modern artist, Julius Koller. 

The museum had the entire scope and all dimensions of his work most of which found humor and irony of his unfortunate cultural situations (Czech was under communist influence)

“I want to put an end to aesthetics, I want to engage instead of arrange” Koller said in an interview regarding his work. I loved this quote because so often we are obsessed with how we appear to the world and what “vibe” we put out (myself included) and seeing Koller throw away any goal of an aesthetic as an artist was inspiring to me to just forget about how you look and focus on what you feel!

I could ramble on and on about my time at the museum discovering new pieces but I’d rather let the art speak for itself. 

One of the most unique and captivating piece was the ping-pong table. Yes, you read that correctly. 

In 1979 Koller invited friends to a solo exhibit in Bratislava and turned the entire exhibit into a sports club. He set out a ping-pong table and posted playing rules, allowing his friends to chose whether to follow them or not, creating a political and artistic space. By doing this, Koller erased the boundaries between art and nonartistic activites. He even crafted other ping-pong tables into artistic pieces! 
Before leaving, I couldn’t help but to join in on the fun and play a bit of a game I never even considered art until Julius Koller (who I’ve decided is complete bonkers but I would have loved to be his friend) and just like that, I joined the J.K. Ping-Pong Club

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