After finishing the Secondary School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, he enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana, from which he graduated in 1989. In 2002, he obtained his MA in Set and Costume Design from the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana. In 2001, he founded the OSUM Art Association, in which he works as an independent producer and art director.
In the 1990s, he performed in a number of important dance and theatre performances and appeared at more than 50 prominent theatre festivals abroad.
Since 2000, he has worked as director, set designer and producer on his own authorial theatre projects: Interieri (2000), Osum (based on the motifs of Rashomon by A. Kurosawa and Funny and Alexander by I. Bergman, Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, 2002), Sanset (based on the motifs of Racine’s Phaedra, Knight’s Hall at Križanke, 2004), Ko mine (based on the motifs of Bergman’s Autumn Sonata, Ljubljana City Theatre, 2005), La La La… (Old Power Station Ljubljana, 2007), Tosca (Ljubljana City Theatre, 2008), Marija Antoinetta (Knight’s Hall at Križanke, 2010), Melancholical Croquis (based on the motifs of Death in Venice by Thomas Mann/Luchino Vsiconti - Grand Hotel Union Ljubljana, 2016). His latest production was Dirac`s Chord - A Mathematical and Physical Croquis in Slovene National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 2018.
With his performances, he participated in the Week of Slovenian Drama in Kranj and the Borštnik Theater Festival in Maribor and international festivals in Potsdam, Reims, Paris, Naples,...
In 2005, his debut film INTERIERI starring Iva Zupančič premiered at the Festival of Slovenian Film.
Among his more prominent set designs are also the ones for Poželenje (Cankarjev dom, 2002), Hrošč (Ljubljana City Theatre, 2001), To the West (Cankarjev dom, 2003), Perzej (Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, 2003), Ta ljubezen… (Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet, 2002), Veronika se odloči… (Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet, 2005), Odtrgana slušalka (Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, 2005) and Brave New World (Slovenian National Theatre Drama, 2017)
In his career, he has directed and designed sets for more than a 200 corporate and commercial events for companies such as Porsche, Delo, Si.mobil, Avon, Microsoft, Lek, Ljubljanske mlekarne, Petrol, L`Oreal, Pernod Ricard, Zavarovalnica Triglav, Chopard, etc.
In the last two years, he also directed and designed sets for ten state celebrations: The Statehood Day 2019, 2013, 2009, Day of Uprising Against Occupation 2018, 2009, Reformation Day 2009, 2008, The Prešeren Awards Ceremony 2015, 2014 and 500 years since birth of Primož Trubar in 2008.
In January 2012 he directed the opening ceremony for European City of Culture Maribor 2012.
In last two years he represents his theater work also as art exhibitions. In 2010 he presented his retrospetive work in exhibition titled Theatrical objects, in 2011 he exhibited acclaimed exhibition Marija Antoientta-theatrical object in Ljubljana Town Hall, in 2017 exhibition Crack in a cosmic egg - theatrical object in Gallery ISIS and in 2019 Melancholy - theatrical object in Posavje museum Brežice, Castle Brežice.
»I am building a performance …«
Between theatre and architecture – Architect Matej Filipčič is one of Slovenian architects, who, in the phase of space exploration, skipped from architecture to theatre – the virtual setting of life – and pledged to it, like before him Bojan Stupica, Meta Hočevar, Mile Korun, Matjaž Klopčič, and others. He finished his postgraduate studies of set and costume design at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana. Throughout he is deeply connected to space and its contents. In dichotomy between reality (architecture) and new reality (theatre), he avoids clear professional determination whether he is a set designer, costume designer, director, actor, or architect. Does his move from architecture to theatre mean he is running away? Filipčič denies this assertion and adds that he has never been interested in straight-lined world. In the process of architectural construction it would be much easier for him to hide behind the clients, city services, and experts than in the theatre, where you exist on your own, along with your co-creators and materials that you articulate. Life-span of a performance is much shorter than that of architecture – in a good hour it begins to live and dies at the same time in front of the audience, but within that time and space it creates an impression or a feeling that moves the thought for a spectator, or vice versa. With architecture it is quite different, for it is bound to last. Passing over from one area to the other is in his opinion an advantage, that enables different views and for that a distance from his own work and himself. Set design in theatre is by all means connected to the topics that inhabit this mysterious area of stage that demands constant active struggle, taming, contradiction and allowing it to be wild – all of that for the actors and spectators.
Filipčič is bound to contemporariness, traditional stories and firm structure with a concept and a vision. There is a kind of subjective universality, in the moment of which any spectator can recognize themselves.
He believes that in theatre, in contrast to architecture, you are directly faced to the concept of passing. Object/ performance ‘lives’ for only a certain amount of days and then there is no physical presence of your work in this space. The performance remains a memory in the mind of its creator, as well as the spectator. It is as if you have taken a painting away from a painter, a sculpture away from a sculptor and last, but not least, a building from an architect. It is because of the transitoriness and uniqueness that the theatre is his life- and not his work- decision.