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Installation, 3D animation with sound, loop, 

12.8. - 23.8. 2020

Sympózium DOM, Jan Hála's house in Važec, SK

Artist: Michal Žilinský

Based on True Events:

  • In 2005 there was a theft that took place in the house and a gallery of Jan Hala, a reputable Czech painter that spent majority of his life in a small Slovak village called Vazec, painting and documenting scenes of ordinary daily life under the Tatra Mountains mostly during the first half of the twentieth century. His house was opened to the public from 1984 to 2005 until one or more burglars broke narrow glass door filling and stole his 26 canvases, two drawings, and two lithographies, leaving the house virtually empty. The thieves were never captured and the paintings of high financial value were never found. 

  • There was a theft in the old abandoned house in Považie region, Slovakia, a couple of years ago. It was once a romantic place, now after a years of neglect just a mere ruin, a time capsule buried outside of town, overgrown with wild vegetation. Inside the house, a loud playing radio speaker creates an illusion of someone still living there. One day, a deaf thief easily bypassed this bullet-proof defending system. He stole a couple of items, including white Nokia 6101 flip phone. There were a couple of valuable paintings installed on the walls by another Slovak painter, Jan Zilinsky, but luckily, the canvases were either too large or the burglar was simply not interested in art. The thief was later captured, but the stolen items were never found.

Aura - First Ten Minutes of Gameplay

“The videogame is not a text to be read, but a dream to be dreamt.” - Alfie Bown

Meta-video game Aura - First Ten Minutes of Gameplay* represents a unique exploration of two robbed houses in a form of an emptied corridor, the embodiment of all that is left. Their romanticizing past and their fragile integrity were violated. You are a thief in Purgatory. You are a visitor enjoying yourself. You are a guard, the aura defender.

Aura - a unique existence, an abstract residual originality of stolen works of art and other entities, still present within space-time of these houses.

Aura, both condensed and scattered as a memory. A nostalgic hyperobject invisibly present not only around the immediate proximity of specific places where the irreplaceable stolen artifacts once rested.

Aura - a video-game - an immersive gaming experience with the possibility of achieving a feeling of the blissful productivity, in a state of pure, aimless infinity.


*The premiere of Aura - First Ten Minutes of Gameplay took place in Vazec, in the attic of Jan Hala's house in midsummer of 2020. The exhibition was a part of a premiere symposium of art, social and educational events called "The House", organized by Zuzana Janečková with the help of the .Slovak arts council. Huge thanks to everyone involved!

AURA is located somewhere between the Zone and Jan Hála's house in Važec.


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