A Fair Fellowship is a sophisticated project by the French sculptor Gwénaël Morice, who creates designer objects using plastic packaging from products regularly used by European households – primarily crates, boxes or ordinary wrapping material from drugstore products, foodstuffs, liquids, etc. A Fair Fellowship links the Breton port town of Lorient, where Morice lives and works, with two exhibition venues in Bohemia – the arto.to gallery at Uhelný mlýn in Libčice nad Vltavou and the Gallery of the Central European Region (GASK) in Kutná Hora. In fact, the artist knows the road from the French town of Lorient to Bohemia quite well, for he has frequently travelled it since the early 1990s thanks to his Czech wife.
In his work, Gwénaël Morice has long focused on work made using distinctive materials, especially trash. His objects are fully recycled, ingeniously assembled from used components, as a result of which they often resemble form-moulded objects. A similar approach can be found among Czech artists as well, such as the objects of František Skála or the PET-ART of Veronika Richterová. Morice, too, collects and reshapes, but unlike these two artists he creates extensive installations in the form of playful plastic Edens. As Iva Knobloch, curator of the collection of graphic arts and photography at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, writes in her text: “His father was a garbage man, as a result of which he has long inclined towards used, discarded items or materials and has engaged in the search for fundamental values. He is imbued with a strong transcendental imagination that works with time. For him, a plastic object is a means of encountering other people in a long-term process.”
An important aspect of Morice’s artistic activities is thus processuality, interpersonal interaction with the social subtext while emphasizing social utility. Back home, he collaborates with non-profit organisations that employ handicapped people at plastic recycling centres. He also participated in an unusual project at French prisons, where he led art workshops for prisoners whom he guided in the creation of original plastic artefacts.
A Fair Fellowship presents a survey of Morice’s site-specific works, including the outdoor installation Veilon Uhelný mlýn’s Kotelna building in Libčice nad Vltavou and an indoor site-specific installation in GASK’s Whitebox exhibition space in Kutná Hora, where an integral part of his plastic environment will be children’s toys that visitors can purchase at the gallery’s Designshop. A Fair Fellowship is more than a design exhibition presenting the work of a foreign artist with a focus on questions of sustainability; it is also a call for us to travel, to seek and discover these two distinctive places of culture in central Bohemia.