– Please scroll down for German version –
For Austrian designer Klemens Schillinger, hardware means anonymous parts from different areas of use. In a playful way, the designer explores the aesthetic and functional qualities of these special hardware half- products. Focusing on preserving the visibility of those parts, such as pipe clamps, cast angles and perforated plates, Schillinger designs mostly new auratic objects especially for the exhibition at the gallery rauminhalt_harald bichler (Program Partner VIENNA DESING WEEK 2020). For the furniture and wall objects on display, the designer combines constructive and aesthetic components with a sense of self-evidence.
Text by Gabriel Roland
There are no secrets to be had in Klemens Schillinger’s new series “Hardware”, no mysteries to be uncovered in its pieces of metal and stone. “All you can see, is all that I am!” each of them wants to scream into your face. And indeed, we see all of them: the slab, the bracket, the tube connectors , the threaded rod. They are there in plain sight and they are as familiar as anything could be. The vocabulary Schillinger chose is so basic that it barely identifies itself as such. He does not play on the amorphous keyboard of raw materials, instead he opts to pull one of the very distinct registers of contemporary building blocks. He picked his ingredients from the table of elements belonging to the white van men and women, the home improvers and denizens of industrial estates. To make the pieces of his new series Klemens Schillinger raided the shelves of hardware stores.
Designers – instead of striving to further break down what we at the moment believe to be the fundamental set of stuff the universe is made of – try to realign what they find around them ever so slightly in order to come up with new items to release into the visible world. Schillinger, whose previous work often relied on shedding new light on objects by virtue of inventive and deceptively simple twists, manages to avoid the urge to naturalise his material choice. In place of trying to link up with a simpler past or an ideal future, he remains grounded in the conflicted substance of the now. As opposed to people who build furniture from shipping pallets, however, Schillinger doesn’t simply approach the items at his disposal as arbitrary givens but fully realises their potential as a cultural vocabulary.
Yes, the objects Klemens Schillinger uses in his designs are store-bought objets trouvés and as such pre-determined limitations to the free expression others might seek. In his hands they turn into the meaningful particles of creation, though. By being the lowest common denominators of our everyday lives they have been gently moulded into something near perfect and at the same time plain ugly, like stones washed to smooth disks by a river. While others pass by these mundane products, which were conceived by unknown heroes and stamped out in anonymous factories, Schillinger picks them up and by combining them into the refined objects he is known for honours them with his tongue only slightly in his cheek as what they for better or worse are: the fundamental parts of our civilisation.
- German Version -
Der österreichische Designer Klemens Schillinger versteht unter Hardware anonyme Teile aus unterschiedlichen Anwendungsbereichen. In spielerischer Form untersucht der Designer die ästhetischen und funktionalen Qualitäten dieser speziellen Halbzeuge. Mit Fokus auf die Erhaltung der Sichtbarkeit jener Teile, so etwa Rohrklemmen, Gusswinkel und Lochbleche entwirft Schillinger mehrheitlich speziell für die Ausstellung in der Galerie rauminhalt_harald bichler neue auratische Objekte. Für die gezeigten Möbelstücke und Wandobjekte fügt der Designer konstruktive und ästhetische Komponenten mit einer Selbstverständlichkeit ineinander.