The Greek word kyklos means circle, wheel. The art of Tomáš Polcar is linked with the circle in both content and form. Polcar repeatedly works with it as a shape, phenomenon or chain of circumstances, always developing and expanding new ideas. The project Kyklos consists of three cyclically interrelated series.
Polcar first discovered the possibilities of the circle at the start of his Slavětín period, living as he does close to the repeating seasons of the year and amidst cyclical time. He abandoned the city, media campaigns and new media. With the flow of time, his thoughts gradually begin to focus inward, away from the outside world and towards what is essential. It is a subject he has remained with for a long time. He is no mass-producer of art; his works emerge slowly and exclusively by his own hand; he is not a conceptual artist who hires others to finish his ideas for him.
The body, bees, and harmony
The word soma has different meanings in different cultures and languages. Tomáš Polcar understands it as the Greek word for body, and from here he works with the metaphor of the body’s unity as a whole consisting of its parts. As a symbolic shape, he has chosen the regular hexagon – a choice resulting from his beekeeping: the six-sided honeycomb shape quite naturally caught his attention. The hexagon is the ideal shape for the chamber in which new bees grow into integral components of the beehive. The honeycomb is perfectly suited for creating a lattice, and makes the best use of available space. The lattice (or network) is like a metaphor for the body, for its birth and decay. SOMA can stand for the Self-Organizing Migrating Algorithm of evolutionary processes on whose basis carbon is organized.
Tomáš sat by the stove, spitting on its red-hot panels. He watched the bubbles gently sizzle and disappear on the stovetop…
In the series Atomos, Tomáš Polcar again works with matter and its various expressions, penetrating to its essence by presenting it broken down to Democritus’ indivisible unit, atomos. Atoms and their changing bonds transform matter and cause it to oscillate between being and not-being. As in his previous series, Decay, here too Polcar approaches chemical and physical phenomena like an alchemist for whom these processes are a tangible expression of their ideal essence.
Decay Engenders Life
“No seed is of use if it remains whole, if it does not turn black and rot; for procreation is always preceded by decay.”
— Fra Marc Antonio Frasselano
Decay giving birth to new life is an expression of one of alchemy’s fundamental postulates of transformation. It is no coincidence that Tomáš Polcar began to work on a series with an alchemist title in his studio in the former workshop of the “Lešetín blacksmith” in the town of Slavětín, where he moved from Prague with his family. In this series, Polcar observes natural phenomena like an alchemist for whom they are a tangible expression of the ideal essence of the world. He combines the material with the spiritual, and – in the spirit of Trismegistus’ concept of “what is down is also what is up” – the microcosm with the macrocosm.