9/21/2016 – 11/1/2016
Curator: Jan Dotřel
The Kvalitář gallery presents an exhibition of a unique collection of design products by René Šulc and his studio Inveno, marking its tenth year of existence. To René Šulc, design means first and foremost an act of cognition, neither solely a visually esthetical matter, nor purely a technological domain. It means to acquire knowledge about the functioning of life’s processes and is a way of subsequently transforming the knowledge into the creative part of his work. “Design is a process, which enables me to penetrate to the essence of things and to comprehend it.” This creative strategy is contextually referenced in the title of the exhibition. Organon, in its original Greek meaning, denotes a tool, an instrument of thought or research. It also epitomizes a synonym for an organic connectedness of individual elements. All this can be found in the work of René Šulc.
Fauna oceanum (Fauna of the oceans)
The nominal etymologies within the titles René Šulc chooses for his pieces refer to a multilayered common cohesion. The names, then, primarily dominated by terms drawn from the organic and anorganic world, create a dynamic network or a mosaic, dedicated to apprehension of our reality. More substantial than for the products to bear visual semblance to their source of inspiration, is their deeper structural interconnection.
Latimeria, a hand-crafted wooden bench, takes its cognomen after one of the eldest living species of fish in the world. Through Šulc’ invention, the Cocoon, a pod, a fibred envelope that protects the eggs of some antropods, transforms into an aerodynamic cycling saddlebag. In imminent danger, Octopus Dolfeini is able to use a sophisticated mimicry system to change the colour and structure of its skin to correspond with a close surface. So can the Corian lamp Octopusalter colours in RGB spectrum via a LED ring. Other natural luminiscences, that is spontaneous radiances, occur for example among several species of medusae and mushrooms. They, too, for René Šulc, came to channel a great inspiration.
Fiat Lux (Let there be light)
From the beginning of mankind, the phenomenon of light has been a source of fascination and a key to solving many questions. Physically, light can be reviewed in terms of luminous flux, spectral density, i.e. colour, and wave frequency. Lighting technology constitutes one of the most difficult disciplines out of the range of designer manufacturing processes. Various significant aspects of a lamp construction consist of mastering manufacturing technologies, from the basics of wiring to the knowledge of functions of particular lighting sources. The integration of technological determinants of light with its profound archetypal meaning pose to René Šulc an important corelation. It is this coalition of limits and possibilities alongside the transcendental dictum: “In the beggining was the light”, that inspires me constantly. Subsequently, the moment of separation of light and dark suggests sumething fundamentally humane. It is relatively irrelevant, depending on circumstance, whether the event at hand is the first making of fire in a cave or a prolonged contemplation of producing a modern lamp.
„ The whole is bigger than the sum of all parts. It cannot be interpreted through them.“
Analogically, this renown sentence by Wolfgang Köhler, one of the founders of Gestalt psychology, may be valid in the field of design. a harmonious fusion of visual, functional and technological elements of every single component of a design is fundamental for René Šulc’ approach. The reticular, structural cohesion can, however, be found in his work in general. Unlimited only to closed items, themes, realisations and sources of inspiration constitute an open totality. The many possible levels of interpretation of Šulc’ work uphold each other, they are not mutually exclusive. Autonomously, yet side by side, here stand products evocatory of the fungi and space-design interior accessories, possibly futuristic visions of a distant time. Set among them are health and rehabilitation aids, whose appearances are accentuated. All the latter components differ, nevertheless, they speak a common visual language, thus constituting a dynamic whole.
Uroboros (Infinity of a cycle of life)
A deep examination and intellection of things which occupy his attention can be felt in the subtle sinuosities of René Šulc’ products. a major theme that has emerged during the ten years of the Inveno studio is dedicated to the social aspect of the circle of life. On the one hand, René Šulc applies himself long-term to manufacturing of wooden toys, on the other he follows designing healthcare aids as well as functional furnishings of senior homes. Both lines in the designer’s concentration demand a high level of empathy and attentiveness towards the very sensitive criteria of particular user groups, e.g. children or the elderly. The ergonomics of a crutch, a dining chair or a bathroom recliner are effectively inverted indexical imprints of individuals. These products are direct reverse impressions of outlines of the human body. Therefore their creation must be perfected from a concept to a realisation, with all the details.
So is the orientation of the designer informed by the circle of life, from the era of childhood to the old age. His production stemms from the processual qualities of a new beginning and a transformed end. Alluding to the ancient symbol of eternal cyclical return, the snake Uroboros, devouring its own tail, – we may seek for the cyclical intertwinement in the work of René Šulc. We may try to find a new Organon.