The Czech was certainly not lost in the great sea of competition. In September, next to World Stars, the daily Právo and Novinky.cz will be exclusive.
The exhibit, with its focal point of a mountain of broken porcelain, is entered through a “Gate of Fame” hung with period paintings. “I call it a triumphal arch. It’s a memory of Czech industry, the famous Czech steel mills founded a hundred or more years ago in the Rothschild era, and we became an island of industry and heavy engineering,” says designer Maxim Velkovski, who also plays a role this time. Architect and landscape designer.
For foreign visitors, this may be a somewhat difficult topic to grasp at first, which is playfully lightened by the installation method, where individual exhibits are enthroned in colorful tin barrels. People tread carefully around artifacts for fear of breaking something, no frantic dances and sudden movements.
The author of three ceramic statues referencing the Covid pandemic makes this amusing observation. Symbolically, they stand in the first row, and not far from them, massive chandeliers shine from the Olgoj Chorchoj studio. Monika Martikanova received the Czech Grand Design Award for this exquisitely executed ensemble. “It’s important that my work can be seen by audiences outside the Czech Republic,” he says.
A future based on tradition
Curators Danica Kovarova and Eva Slunekova have brought together generations of male and female writers who interact, interact, or slightly clash with their works. “The exhibition represents a combination of studio and commercial design. Often, the authors are connected to tradition through their works, which they often interpret in their own way,” highlights Danica Kovarova.
This is not the first time that Czech creators have visited the Triennale museum surrounded by greenery in the city center in a combined presentation. This last happened during the Czechoslovak era, when glassworks and ceramics factories were still operating at full capacity.
“Moving to this prestigious location in such an ambitious project was a big challenge for us as a company. At the Moravian Gallery, we work with collections, but rather with the past, whereas in Milan the future, if not the present, of Czech design takes place. I see great potential in that,” says the Brno-based John Press, director of the Moravian Gallery.
Together with the organizers of Prague DesignBlock, a key driver of the domestic design scene for the past twenty-five years, they teamed up with the Ministry of Culture to implement the project, funded by the European Union.
Forty authors and nearly a hundred exhibits
More than forty authors prepared nearly a hundred exhibits. “We had a little time to process, so we decided to go for materials that are very processable, like glass and ceramic. We discussed what to combine the two and what they say about the contemporary world. We live in a time of war and energy crisis, should we as a society have glass and ceramic, “Or we as a society have to decide whether to back away from them and whether cups made of algae will suffice,” adds Jana, adding another dimension. Zielinski, president of Designblok.
Gross Exposition is based on the Terra Alpha installation presented last year at DesignBlock. A few exhibits were created directly for the Milan show, for example, Studio DECHEM created a new wall-mounted light object, a kind of glass collage.
A significant number of brittle materials due to small defects are often condemned to the particle graveyard in factories. On the other hand, the bubbles in Lady Semeka’s wall paintings are absolutely desirable because they create a unique map with light. Some teachers work directly with the broken pieces, while others bring new value to those who first plucked a dozen tourist bucks. Adam Železný takes pieces from production waste and grinds them into a powder, which is ready to be used as a new material.
Mycelium and ceramic soap packaging
LLEV Studio’s new product is a great example of looking into the future. Marcel and Eva Mochal came up with a unique idea.
“We blow glass in molds made from undergrowth and wood waste. For hundreds of thousands of people we have been able to create a mold that defines the glass surface without using metal molds,” explains Marcel Mochel.
“Mycelium is trying to replace non-recyclable polystyrene on a global scale. It’s a great material,” says Eva, his creator and life partner.
Czech in Milan
The Made by Fire exhibition is the largest Czech exhibition in Milan, but certainly not the only one. Many Czech creators are part of joint exhibitions, new products from companies like Lasvit, Bomma or Preciosa can be seen at the Salone del Mobile exhibition.
Product design students from VŠUP in Prague came up with an interactive installation based on the structure of music and sound as part of the Tortona Design Week, and dozens of students paid tribute to traditional crafts in an exhibition of beautiful work decorating the Czech Embassy, whose entrance is occupied by a Sotek sculpture by Michal Simali: “He A time-walker. I made it out of rockers, which are reclaimed concrete. When old buildings are torn down, the panels try and turn machines like crazy. I collect wires and connect them together. I supplement them with neon lights recycled from old stripped-down commercials.
And four authors present their wardrobes of passions in the Rosanna Orlandi Master Gallery. One of them, called Slack, was brought up by painter Lucie Jindrak Scrivankova. Maxim Velkovsky’s Cloud, in this case Losvid’s artistic director, caused a stir at the Salone del Mobile exhibition. His installation changes color and rains down thousands of optical fibers from it. “We are part of nature, but as humans we shape it randomly. Today, the cloud is the communication symbol of our digital age. It is a dangerously smart cloud.’
Among the legends of the field is sixty-six-year-old Zdeněk Lhotský, who brought the Milan cubes, showing his experiments in the chemical process of coloring glass. František Jungvirt plays with tradition in a unique way. To exaggerate, he plucked three miniature vases from his grandmother’s room and turned them into objets d’art, somewhat stripped of the old dignity and respectability of cut or check glass. A collection of high-quality ceramic vases is on display by Milan Becker, and not far from them, we see a small onion plant on ceramics by Jiri Belkl.
It’s rare for a soap container to become a collector’s artefact, but it did at this exhibition. This is one of Antonin Tomasek’s ceramic sculptures, which represent small figures, once common, such as leaping deer, hounds or pike.
“I was thinking about the way in which new themes are being signed in contemporary interior sculptures,” he explains of the play with meanings. “I like asking questions more than giving answers.”
The installation is closed by a glass installation billboard by Klara Horakova. It reflects not only the exhibition, but also the era of Czech design over the past twenty-five years. What happens next? Will there be anything else after that? The so-called Mirror Man reflects pieces of questions in his costume. The figure moves through the exposition, adding another exotic element of movement.
The celebration of design, fashion, art and new technologies continues in Milan until April 23.
The exhibition Made by Fire will reopen in an expanded form in the autumn at Designblock, and then at the premises of the Moravian Gallery Museum of Applied Arts in Brno.