Roman Kvita, Linda Vránová, Sebastian Sticzay, Veronika Pařízková, Zuzana Knapková, Martin Chmelař, Urny ke kořenům
6/9/2017 – 8/2/2017
Curator: Jan Dotřel
All civilizations attribute a crucial meaning to the imminence and mysterium of death. a worldwide variety of ponderations of existence ends regularly with some kind of ritual, beit a faith in eternal life post mortem in the Kingdom of God, Elysium, Valhalla, reincarnation of a soul or a nihilistic void of the Universe. From the late 19. century, the most frequent burial method in western culture has been cremation. Within the Lands of the Bohemian Crown the esthetics of process of cremation had been subjected to stark attention, mirrored in a high quality o funerary architecture and design. During the period of late socialist regime, however, the line was tarnished and nearly severed in the 90s when funerary design, namely typography suffered under an ascendancy of kitsch. Today, though, efforts of a number of young designers are directed towards the return of visual qualities in something as vital as the vessels receiving human ashes.
Pavlína and Roman Kvita present a new czech brand URNYY which specializes on design of cascets for incinerated human remains. Funerary themes have occupied the couple for some time now; they search for a way to implement practically technical and sculptural mastery. Both allegorical new inventions and classical symbolism, historically educated esthetic (e.g. Vlastislav Hofman) inform their visual language. Features common to the URNYY brand are quality materials, such as glass, cast iron, stone, and, predominantly, a push for an elegant shape. The glass, iron or stone URNYY urns elevate an esthetic standard while conserving a reverently dignified expression. An inclusion of verbal information about the deceased or a poem quotation is another underlying characteristic of the product. a chosen text is transferred onto the container by a traditional technique of glass cutting, more specifically, in the form of a customised Morse alphabet.
One of the first in Czechia, Linda has touched upon the neglected taboo theme as early as 2013. a personal experience directed her to the initial thought to concentrate her work therein. She has been unsettled by the prevalent method of handling the remains. For that reason she has resolved to designing an urn to cherish the memory of the departed in an interesting and distinguished manner. To refer to a symbolic association of a beginning and an end she has given the object the general shape of an egg. The top of the urn is cast in basalt. The stone is said to last forever therefore correlating well with the life after death symbolism. Inside of the urn is inlaid with a glass sphere serving as a receptacle for the ashes.
Mors certa, death is certain. / How do we perceive death? What does the ash of a human body signify to us? Is it a memento, a symbol, a relic or nothing but a mass of inorganic matter? Should we build pompous tombs, pyramids, mausolea or simply be dispersed into the wind?
Vessel of Kharon is an object of transparent resin bonded with ash, cast into an archetypal vase shaped mould, which serves as a means of communication with the underworld. a simplified ritual of intromission of thoughts and letters into the heart of the form eases our mourning. Family Chapel is a miniature crystal glass shrine that can contain several superposed urns. This family reliquary stresses christian esthetics, diminishing it in size so as to fit it for a home use or a columbarium. Separate carved glass urns with copper-plated covers are placed on a marble plinth.
Today, most people live in an environments eligible to direct arbitrary assimilation to their taste. They elect their own style of living, fashion or look. When it comes to the last journey, however, the posthumous voyage, one has but to resign on individuality, submit to a consumer mass offering. But is it unavoidable? Doesn’t a person deserve to be enveloped in luxe and dignity even after death? Besides, one will spend disproportionately more time in there than one does in an earthly home. In accordance with its purpose to find common ground for design, architecture and visual art, Kvalitář gallery decided to examine this uninvestigated and nearly uninhabited land of funerary design. It requires a rare combination of confidence and humility from the designer, to make a product for preservation of ashes, our dearest ones or ourselves. It is neither an easy nor a joyous work. Even so, some artists have been captivated by the designing of burial urns. They each displayed a different attitude. They conceived simple shapes, playful, poetic, even conceptual. Now, Kvalitář has reached up to them with a proposal to exhibit all of their work in a single location side by side. The diversity of the designs present proves choice to truly be another branch of freedom. The young designers in question then are connected in a most important way: not in a choice of material or their syncreticity, but rather in their courage. The courage to set about designing a product with likely a better longevity than ourselves, on that will survive. And this terrifies us. The curator’s aim, nevertheless, is not to create a show macabre and repellent. On the contrary, the aspiration is to present a vernal, light, optimistic show of funeral objects, into which you just as well can, with a bit of hyperbole, look forward to.
Zuzana Knapková / Together (urns for partners)
To pity the incongruity of attention spent on vessels ephemeral and ones made for eternity.
For whom /
My porcelain urns are for partners who desire not to part even after death, and for their bereavered who would like to facilitate the wish of the departed.
Out of what /
For long ceramic containers have been a part of processes of cremation. Out of all ceramic materials porcelain is the utmost noble and resilient.
Where to /
The cascets can be incorporated in a tomb, they can be deposited underneath a tombstone. a couple then fits inside a standardised columbarium niche.
I look at things circling around us. Those which we perceive, those which we encounter. a sight exciting real emotions. The subsequently designed urn doesn’t illustrate an image of desolate container without substance or inner charm, reminiscent of a dust bin. Instead, the work conveys feelings of what connects us to others in life, what brings us joy and the most memorable of experiences.
All of Martin’s urns are meticulously handcrafted, from preliminary sketches to molding and sculpting in clay. The result is a acrylate composite shell cast covered in a surface patina. Glass fibre reinforcements provide the object with effective amount of structural stability while lowering its weight. There is another version made from cast bronze. This material, unsusceptible to the impact of both the environment and the flow of time, allows a high degree of durability to the “exterior” alternative.
Conceived for the natural cemetery Woods of Memories in Ďáblice, Praha, these soluble urns designed to be reposed by the tree’s roots or for the ashes to directly contain a seed of a plant and thus fertilizing a new tree’s growth. The urns are fabricated out of recycled paper or a papier-mâché technique. Upon them, the bereavered can write or paint during the last farewell. The artist Kateřina Pěkná created the first urn’s geometrical form while the more rustic second prototype is the work of Tomáš Rybníček.