A Country steeped in the greens of the forests invited visitors to a space combining innovation and culture. The rectangular structure of Slovakia’s Pavilion, covered with wood and green, cleverly displayed on one façade the profiled head of the Goddess Vesna, symbol of the energy of Spring. Outside, white Expressionist/Baroque heads by the artist F.X. Messerschmidt attracted the attention of passers-by, and inside, Slovakia explored the concept of energy as a form of new life. The Pavilion was divided into three main sections, where visitors could respectively admire Slovak traditions, innovations in food-related technologies, and art as vital energy.
Energy from Tradition
The first displayed in the Pavilion’s itinerary were devoted to aspects of traditional craftsmanship and folklore. The Musical Fujara Tree, a sculpture in metal and wood made up of flutes, whistles and bells, focused on one of the country’s typical popular musical instruments, the wooden Fujara flute, which since 2005 has been part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. In this first area you could also admire a striking sculpture in metal consisting solely of rural work tools, while the key work was the egg: a symbol of new life, decorated with 400 different original images representing all the cities in Slovakia.
Energy from Innovation. Towards the future in a flying car, on display from September in the Pavilion
The second main area of the Pavilion highlighted a series of innovative projects or prototypes created by Slovakian start-ups or University departments. The main attraction was the AeroMobil, the car which in a few minutes can be transformed into a flying vehicle, visible in video and, during September, physically present in Expo Milano 2015. The only functioning prototype of its kind in the world, this vehicle uses conventional petrol and performs like any other car. Other examples of innovation focused on intelligent hydroponic systems for domestic cultivations (Croptech), energy drinks obtained by liquefying Spelt wheat to make a natural cereal drink (Functional food) or plastic materials produced from 100% natural materials like maize and sugar beet (Biodegradable bioplastic). Also on display, a 3D glasses system projecting images of Slovakian cities and landscapes.
Art as vital energy, with objects from 23 thousand years ago
A sculpture in the form of a table, laid with a plate, forks and tablecloth, was by Svetozar Ilavsky, and was intended to represent birth and act as a symbol for the section dedicated to works of art. The most prized exhibit in the Pavilion was a work created 23,000 years ago: the Moravany Venus consists of a woman’s body carved from the tusk of a mammoth, found in Slovakia roughly 100 years ago, and therefore a prehistoric artefact of deep significance for the country. The last area of the Pavilion also displayed some of Slovakia’s typical cereals and tubers, and above all illustrated the concept of sharing: to improve the nutritional condition of children in developing countries, visitors were invited to contribute by buying a €2 coupon, that would have fed a child in Southern Sudan.
A dinner with Andy Wharol, with pop art style photos
The restaurant was dedicated to Andy Wharol, in his Slovakian parents. and offering the country’s typical dishes like halusky (gnocchi). Visitors could also enter the facility just to take advantage of Andy’s selfie: a free photo that was sent via e-mail as a souvenir selfie in pop art style.