Submission
Helena Hladilova

Hafgufa

Flip Project is pleased to announce the first show of Helena Hladilova in its newly opened space in the heart of Naples. Hladilova has created a series of new works all related to the iconography of the octopus. They are mainly bas-reliefs in polychrome marble, with watercolor glazes of color, often with inserts of bronze castings. For some years now, Helena has been making a series of works on fairy imagery, dreamlike, mythological figures, monsters, but also mutant beings, hybrid creatures; passing between fantasy, myth, and reality: a way of imagining and thinking about new conditions or possibilities experienced in everyday life. Influenced by her two children, she recently saw herself catapulted into fairy-tale readings, into a fantasy universe, parallel to that of adults and especially to the imagery related to Norse mythology (Nordic-Scandinavian mythology).


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Partial view of the exhibition
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Untitled, marmo salomè, acquerello 68 x 68 x 2 cm, 2022
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Untitled, marmo rosso francese, lavagna, 32 x 21 x 16 cm, 2022
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Untitled, marmo rosso francese, lavagna, 32 x 21 x 16 cm, 2022
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Untitled, marmo macauba, 57 x 57 x 2 cm, 2022
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Untitled, soladite, 26 x 25 x 5 cm, 2022
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Untitled, marmo portoro, 20 x 15,7 cm, 2022
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Untitled, travertino, marmo verde guatemala, onice cappuccino, onice blu, onice malaga, bronzo, 28 x 28 x 5 cm, 2022
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Untitled, marmo rosa di portogallo, rame, 165 x 5 x 5 cm, 2022
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Untitled, sandstone, 46 x 26 x 10 cm, 2022

HELENA HLADILOVA
HAFGUFA

Via Giovanni Paladino 8, Napoli
June 2nd – july 20th

“There is a fish that I have not mentioned yet, about which it is good to avoid talking about its size, as it would seem unbelievable to most people. There are very few who can speak clearly about it, for it rarely comes close to land or appears where it might be seen by fishermen, and I suppose there are not many fishes of this species in the sea. Often in our language, we call it hafgufa. Nor can I speak with certainty of its size in aune because the times it has shown itself to men it has appeared more like land than fish. Nor have I heard that one has ever been caught, or found dead; and I believe that there should not be more than two in the oceans, and that each one is incapable of reproducing, for I believe they are always the same. It is said that it is the nature of this fish that when it wants to eat, then it extends its neck with a great belching, and throws out so much food that all kinds of fish that are nearby flock to the place; but this great fish leaves its mouth open in the meantime, and the opening is no less wide than that of a great fjord, and the fish cannot avoid flocking there in great numbers. But as its stomach and mouth are full, then it closes its jaws together and catches and imprisons all those fish, which had so greedily come there in search of food.”
[Konungs skuggsjá (Norse: “mirror of the king”) is a Norwegian didactic text composed around 1250 and designed for the education of the sons of King Haakon the Elder, Magnus Lagabøter and Haakon the Younger (although the text is addressed to all members of the court). Its author, probably a clergyman in the king’s court, has remained anonymous].

Dialogue:
H. when I started imagining the exhibition for Flip and Naples I immediately thought of the image of the octopus.
Don’t be offended, when I think of Naples, I always imagine it from a distance, from some distance; I think of the sea and its aerial image.
F. No, absolutely, no offense, I imagine Naples in the same way. There are architectural points of interest and a timeless charm; of course living in the city is extremely tiring/demanding/exhausting/strenuous, one is thus pushed to leave it for a while – but the moment I look at it from a distance I understand another way of experiencing and admiring it when my slight is about to land. Then I am breathless; or, when at 7am I leave the Campi Flegrei in an inflatable dinghy, I observe it from afar, the city finally silent, I float on a sea smooth as glass.
H. The octopus is almost like my pet, intelligent, ‘cool’, if you cut off a tentacle it grows back, like a mutant.
F. Well if we want to put metaphorically, Naples is both a morphological-geological mutant, we live in a complex volcanic web intertwined, and then there is also its daily frenetic structure, the Neapolitan adapts, invents, transforms to it.

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Flip Project is pleased to announce the first show of Helena Hladilova in its newly opened space in the heart of Naples.

Flip’s new location is located in the courtyard of a building in Via Giovanni Paladino near
Piazzetta Nilo, in a 1950s noble chapel, recovered after a long period of neglect.

Hladilova has created a series of new works all related to the iconography of the octopus. They are mainly bas-reliefs in polychrome marble, with watercolor glazes of color, often with inserts of bronze castings.

For some years now, Helena has been making a series of works on fairy imagery, dreamlike, mythological figures, monsters, but also mutant beings, hybrid creatures; passing between fantasy, myth, and reality: a way of imagining and thinking about new conditions or possibilities experienced in everyday life.

Influenced by her two children, she recently saw herself catapulted into fairy-tale readings, into a fantasy universe, parallel to that of adults and especially to the imagery related to Norse mythology (Nordic-Scandinavian mythology).

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Helena Hladilová (1983 Kroměříž, CZ, lives and works in Tuscany, Italy) studied at the Fine Arts Faculty at VUT University, Brno, at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan and at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara. In 2008 she co-founded the artist run space GUM Studio. Hladilová exhibited in important national and international institutions and galleries such as: SpazioA, Pistoia (2022), Almanac Inn, Turin (2021); Kleine Humboldt Galerie, Berlin, Germany (2018), 0smicka, Humpolec, Czech Republic (2018), SVIT, Prague, Czech Republic (2017), L’Ascensore, Palermo, Italy (2017), Treti Galaxy, Milan, Italy (2017), Polansky Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic (2017), Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy (2017), American Academy, Rome, Italy (2016), National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic (2016), MAXXI, Rome, Italy (2015), Fanta Spazio, Milan, Italy (2015), MACRO, Rome, Italy (2014), GAM, Turin, Italy (2013), Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice, Italy (2012), Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como, Italy (2012), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2012). She participated in the 6th Prague Biennale, Czech Republic (2013) and in Go West! – III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art at the Muzeon Art Park in Moscow, Russia (2012).

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Flip project is an artist-run space in Napoli. It is an independent curatorial project, a platform for discussions devoted to developing models of collaboration that expand on interests in contemporary culture and artistic practice.

Flip is motivated by continuous changes in location and spontaneous occurrences that extend from the local to address the current milieu. Flip presents across a multiplicity of spatial situations where discussions take shape as exhibitions, publications or digital fragments.

With the Matronage of Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee, Naples

A special thanks for the kind and generous support of:
Alessandro Bava
and
SpazioA Gallery, Pistoia

As well as gratitude to Pamela Orrico, Lucas Memmola, Matilde Tirelli, Sima Asineta, Francesco Sollazzo, Jona Fierro e Deborah Sica for their help.