Oto Hudec

(b. 1981, lives in Košice) is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Combining art with activism, he is an author of participative projects, installations, performances, and videos. Hudec works on behalf of the planet by developing environmental awareness and sensitivity to social minorities.

Back Where I Belong, 2019, film, 4’55’’, courtesy of the artist and Gandy Gallery, Bratislava, collection of Východoslovenská galéria, Košice

Mascot, 2018, polystyrene, digital print, collection of Východoslovenská galéria, Košice

Depending on how one looks at it, coal can be a subterranean sedimentary rock or an energy resource. Only 200 years after the onset of the nineteenth-century industrial revolution, the mining of this fossil fuel is resulting in irreversible global warming, leading to predictions of the end of human civilization. Until the mid-nineteenth century, the coal basin in the region of Most, Czechia, where Hudec presented his performance, was a major centre of the heavy industry. The film documents the performance, which was a ritual of returning coal to its proper place, underground, where it will soon end up with another, human, fossil. A human-sized model of a lump of coal (Mascot) serves as a prop as well as a costume in which Hudec enters the mine.

The Flag of the Blue Planet, 2019, film, 5’37’’, object, courtesy of the artist and Gandy Gallery, Bratislava

The satellite images of the Earth recorded in the 1960s by the US cosmic agency NASA show blurry outlines of continents immersed in an infinity of clouds and the blue expanse of the oceans. The image of the “blue planet,” devoid of national boundaries and political divisions, soon became the icon of ecological and pacifist movements. In 1969, John McConell designed an Earth flag for the first Earth Day, hoping to create a universal symbol that all inhabitants of the planet could identify with. Soon, however, new versions of the flag emerged, reflecting differences in imagination. Hudec’s Earth flag is based on McConell’s original proposal, but he cuts out the globe in the middle, leaving a round hole through which the sky or the surroundings can be observed. A permanent symbol for all invented by one man is replaced by an opening to a changing environment and a multiplicity of perspectives.

Photo: Back Where I Belong , 2019, video still, courtesy of the artist and  Gandy Gallery, Bratislava

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is back-to-where-I-belong-1400x930.jpg

Back ↵