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Jozef Pilát

To Be Thistles on the Breadbasket


Jozef Pilát was born in Slovakia in a family with a long tradition of farming and spent his childhood and life in the countryside. Returning to his home village after studying abroad, he saw fields covered with thistles and started questioning the ambivalent meanings of thistles and weeds, which can function as pests and healing herbs at the same time. 
Jozef Pilát, To Be Thistles on the Breadbasket, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.


The term “breadbasket” signifies the part of a country or region that produces large amounts of food, especially grain, for the rest of the country or region. It is known for its characteristic golden colour of monocultures, which leaves no place for biodiversity. Jozef Pilát plants a thistle in this field in his project To Be Thistles on the Breadbasket (2020).

The term “breadbasket” signifies the part of a country or region that produces large amounts of food, especially grain, for the rest of the country or region. It is known for its characteristic golden colour of monocultures, which leaves no place for biodiversity. Jozef Pilát plants a thistle in this field in his project To Be Thistles on the Breadbasket (2020). A plant that is neither an alien nor an invasive plant and yet is considered to be a farmer's eternal nemesis.

The thistle is interesting because it is a paradox. On the one hand, it is one of the oldest medicinal plants, and on the other a ragged vagabond. He considers this inner tension to also apply to the role of the artist or culture itself in society. When present on a field, the thistle is a thorn in one’s side, but if we remain open to its benefits, it can become a tool of healing and convenience to society.

A plant that is neither an alien nor an invasive plant and yet is considered to be a farmer's eternal nemesis. In his practice, Jozef Pilat often filters various local narratives, searching for absurdities and contrasts. Originally from his home village Šuňava in Slovakia’s Podtatranský region, he focuses on issues of the local community and considers the extent in which they can have a global effect, and vice versa.

https://jozefpilat.com


Jozef Pilát, To Be Thistles on the Breadbasket
, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Jozef Pilát, To Be Thistles on the Breadbasket, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Jozef Pilát To Be Thistles on the Breadbasket, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.


Jozef Pilat (1992) is a painter-carpenter, sculptor-kombajn harvester driver, son of nature and child of a late-capitalist. In 2018 he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and is nowadays working on ArtD. study at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. He was one of the finalists for Oskár Čepan Award (Young Visual Artists Awards) in 2020. He presented his work in various solo and group exhibitions in Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Finland. In his work, he is swinging between different mediums, which synthesize in monumental spatial forms. The topic of his research is how the global world influences local narratives and how local stories can influence the global world.