MgA. Marek Šilpoch

He combines light, glass, graphic design, photography and video in his work. Marek is interested in any kind of craftsmanship and handwork. He transforms old objects into new pieces, creates new contexts, works with space and explores the boundary between design and aesthetic art. He considers himself neither an artist nor a designer. As a result, his portfolio has a broad scope.

He is a co-founder of the audio visual crew XYZ project in Prague. As a freelancer, he worked as a Graphic Designer, Photographer and Light Artist. Between 2018 and 2021 he worked as one of the curators of the Signal Festival. Marek is currently focusing on his work and diploma studies, looking for a way to work with light and materials sustainably nowadays in combination with sci-fi scenarios and historical and symbolic context.

Want to know more about my research and ideas?
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︎    Secondary Graphics & Technical School
        Graduation (2008 – 2012)
︎    UMPRUM (Graphics and Visual Communication)
        BcA. (2012 – 2017)
︎    UMPRUM (Photography I. studio)
        Internship (2015)
︎    UMPRUM (Glass studio)
        MgA. (2017 – 2019)
︎    FUD UJEP (Doctoral Studies in Visual Communication)
resent (Light Art in Context of History and Contemporary Art)

Art Residence

︎   Rhode Island School of Design
       Glass studio, Fellowship teacher
       Autumn session 2022

︎   Zunya, Art Residency
       Art installation & Visual for NYE


︎    Graphic Designer (Freelance, 2013 – 2017)

︎    Photography (Freelance, around 2016)

︎    Co-curator of Signal Festival (2018 – 2021)

︎    Work internship at Quiet Ensemble, Roma
        (2022, 2023)

︎    Music event production, Light installations, Live Performances
        (2015 – 2018) oragnized about 30+++ events
        w/ art collective XYZ project
        Oliver Torr, Dominik Jančík, Marek Šilpoch,
        Filip Smil, Honza Slanina


︎    Spectaculare Art Show, The Chemistry Gallery (2016)
        XYZ project (Oliver Torr, Dominik Jančík, Marek Šilpoch)

︎    Spectaculare Art Show, The Chemistry Gallery (2017)

        XYZ project (Oliver Torr, Dominik Jančík, Marek Šilpoch)

︎    Vášeň, The Chemistry Gallery (2017)
        XYZ project (Oliver Torr, Dominik Jančík, Marek Šilpoch)

︎   The Chemistry Salón (2018)
        XYZ project (Oliver Torr, Dominik Jančík, Marek Šilpoch)

︎    Prizma, White Pearl Gallery (2018)
        Oliver Torr, Dominik Jančík, Marek Šilpoch

︎   Hlídka 2,1/18, Signal Festival (2018)
       XYZ project

︎   Colours of transparency, London Design Week (2018)
       students of Glass Studio at UMPRUM

︎   Colours of transparency II., Prague, HYB4 Galerie (2019)
       students of Glass Studio at UMPRUM
       (Oliver Torr, Dominik Jančík, Marek Šilpoch)

︎   Bylo nebylo nebylo bylo: Sklo, 8mička Gallery (2020)
       Oliver Torr, Dominik Jančík, Marek Šilpoch

︎   Křehkost Kontextu (Fragility od Context), The Chemistry Gallery (2021)
        first solo exhibition

︎   Kind of Blue, The Chemistry Gallery (2021)
       ZEBONE & Marek Šilpoch

︎   Konec Začátku (The End of Beginning), Ústí nad Labem House of Arts  (2022)
       solo exhibition


Currently, most of the time I am working on my doctoral studies. My research is focused on light art in the context of history and contemporary art. I am focusing on relations between artworks, society and time. My studies are about reading, writing and my work. I am collecting trash, industrial lamps and objects, old advertisements, glass, and neon and recycling them into new objects inspired by the future. Some of my objects are closer to upcycled design and some are artworks representing my visual diary. In my research, I am focusing on the power of art, as a tool for change in society. In the very interesting reading: Towards ecological sustainability: observations on the role of the arts by David J. Curtis, Nick Reid and Ian Reeve*, the authors say that visual art and performance can help people to make stronger relationships with nature and ecology which will lead to better protection of our environment. This became one of the most important topics in my research, which I am trying to apply to my installations.

Since the beginning of 2020, we have been working on the Signal Festival (implemented in 2021) with environmental topics. Our idea was to use our publicity (the festival has around +-500 00 visitors in 4 days) and promote ecological problems through visual art, spectacular light installations and mappings. We were trying to show ecological problems from a new perspective, use humour and the power of light and make people think about our problems. We also try to give them the power to fight these challenges and show them solutions. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. For me personally, it was a great lesson. During the festival, I was visiting the installations repeatedly and tried to listen to the audience. This gave me a lot of important information for my research. Some people aren‘t ready to face the truth and some of them were pissed at us because we educate them instead of giving them satisfaction through flashy lights. But, many of the installations worked as we believe and the combination of audio-visual art with environmental topics was really interesting. For example, the planetarium projection we created with Daniel Červenka, A Radical Compromise**, was a great example. We presented a scary reality of coal mines in the Czech Republic through beautiful abstract visuals by drone. This combination was impressive because visitors really liked the images but at the same time, they were shocked by the reality.

Then, I realise that I have to do more for my home planet and the environment around me. First, where I started was with me and my work. I ask myself, what I am doing and how I can help to make the future more sustainable and ecological with my art. I know that I have to create art to be happy. I knew that I wanted to work with light, but I also knew that I have to move forward with my art and use the power of visual art to be the voice of the environment. As a designer I am recycling and restoring old objects, giving them new life and new context. So as a designer, my position is clear. As an artist, I was facing a bigger challenge. I am working with light, which means I am using electricity as a source for my light installations. I started working on different scenarios and the electricity source
I am using. One of the options was using solar power and the second option was natural light (the sun and fire were always my biggest inspiration). These two options seem right,
and I decided to include them in my work. My last exhibition was charged by my solar power station, which I installed on the gallery's rooftop. It worked perfectly. During the summer of 2022, I also worked as a visual maker at open-air music festivals, where I did solar-powered installations and fireplaces.

I also implement environmental topics into my work in combination with education and humour. When I worked as a curator for the Signal Festival, I pushed the artist the same way. I don‘t believe that someone will change his mind when I tell him: You are bad. You don‘t protect nature. It‘s not working. Not for me. People are scared to see the truth and it is easier to believe that everything is all right. Jean Baudrillard, in his book Simulacra and Simulations, is saying that the truth we believe in, is actually sci-fi, and the reality (which is real truth) seems like sci-fi to us. From my perspective, this is exactly the problem. Sometimes, people can easily imagine that they are Jedi on Tatooine with a lightsaber instead of a real person living on a dying planet.

And because my work was always inspired by sci-fi visuality,  I decided to use Baudrillard‘s ideas about real-sci-fi and combine them with the ideas of Roy Bradbury, who says: “I Do Not Want to Predict the Future. I Want to Prevent It”, to create a sci-fi-looking reality and show the environmental problems in a different light. Now I am working on new installations for my diploma work, which uses the power of light, spectacularity, power of audio-visual art and performance (as described in the text Towards ecological sustainability) to create installations about the dystopian future we have to prevent. The whole project will also include solutions, activist actions and film documents (similar to A Radical Compromise).

Díky, miluju vás. 
Bez vás bych nebyl! Děkuju všem, kteří za mnou stojíte.

All rights reserved  MAREK ŠILPOCH, 2021

Many thanks to my lovely friends for hot pictures.

Nora Rajnoch
Svatoš & Delibalta
Jakub Dohnálek & Honza Kolář
Peter Fabo
  Alžběta Jungrová
Anna Pleslová
Kateřina Kabelková
Tomáš Slavík
Petr Kopal
Tomáš Carl Allen

And also many thanks
Matěj Moravec
for beautiful logo!