In her first institutional solo-exhibition Dominika Bednarsky (*1994) creates an absurd habitat that reflects on the garden’s duality as a border zone between reality and fantasy, utopia and dystopia, paradise and ruin. Individualistic plants and creatures made of glazed clay inhabit the garden-like scenery at Schleuse and form a delimited, static habitat. Sharp-edged blades of grass protrude in different directions from several square ceramic plates, sometimes mazily to the side, sometimes straight up. The color of the grassy areas alternate between greenish and brownish tones and are reminiscent of a burnt lawn in the summer heat. Carnivorous plants are occupying the floor, while succulents are sprawling from the ceiling. Flies, bees and snakes are hiding in the plants‘ leaves, waiting for their turn to come. A served rabbit ear foreshadows that it might be a brutal encounter. There is competition in the fenced habitat of Schleuse – but who will prevail? And what happens to the underdogs?

In Bednarsky's installation, the garden as a fenced-in living space, which has always served man as a controlled cultivation area, develops an autonomous life of its own. Her sculptural ceramic series mime familiar elements from flora and fauna and counteract them in humorous compositions. Carnivorous ceramics are tamed in flower pots filled with soil, flies and bees are robbed of their fleeting mobility as fired clay figures. Everything solidifies in Snap Competition, covering the familiar in thick, unruly layers of glaze.

Text: Sonja-Maria Borstner

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