Roland Schefferski


Roland Schefferski was born 1956 in Poland. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland (1976-1981). Since 1984 he has been living and working in Berlin. Schefferski uses various media to realize his artistic concepts according to their requirements. In his work, the artist takes the role of a critical analyst of everyday reality, often using it in unconventional ways for artistic purposes. 

Schefferski’s exhibitions and projects include, among others, National Museum in Cracow, Maerkisches Museum in Berlin, Museum of Warmia and Masuria in Olsztyn, Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdansk, Gallery of the Upper Austrian Museum in Linz, Kunstsammlungen in Chemnitz, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle and National Museum in Warsaw, Museum Ostdeutsche Galerie in Regensburg and Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. In addition to exhibitions and projects within institutional spaces, the artist also realizes his works in public spaces. A street, a garden, a store or a library have been for him the places that can also present art as well as traditional exhibition spaces, like a gallery or a museum. For example, Schefferski deposited his artworks as commonly objects for the commission sale in a second-hand shop in Berlin and in an antique store in Gdansk. He also exhibited on the streets of Warsaw with a billboard saying, "Create your own image of Berlin". He lent to the exhibition visitors in different cities – Warsaw, Los Angeles, Moscow, Berlin and Cracow - clothes marked with embroidered human silhouettes. Schefferski also installed his works on the site of the gardens in Brandenburg, in a historic Temple of Pomona in Potsdam. At public libraries in German and Polish border towns he developed a subtle communication strategy. His messages were inserted into the books and magazines, which are borrowed by the public. During his walks at the German-Polish border in Frankfurt (Oder)/Slubice, in Warsaw and recently in Berlin he lost coins minted for this occasion. The inscriptions on the coins should animate the finder to think about: the future of Europe (This concerns you / To dotyczy ciebie, 2005), the globalized market economy (Money is not everything / Pieniądze szczęścia never dają, 2009) or a more open society (Other Germany?, 2017). Schefferski’s consistent artistic strategies are manifested in his works, which deal also with different qualities of perception and remembering of the pictorial image as an iconic document. The focus of his attention is the question: how do images operate within the cultural memory and what influence do they have on the cultural and collective memory? Also, the manipulative character of pictures in the mass media is a theme reflected in a whole series of works and exhibitions realised by the artist.

Comments on Our Garden

Installation, mixed media: about 10-20 similar or various plants, 10 plates made of acrylic, each 4,9 cm x 19,9 cm with engraved quotations from an anonymous blog debate in German or English.

"Little black labels with white writing on them dangling from branches and twigs– at first sight they have nothing to do with the flora of gardening. They neither read names nor do they give any explanations concerning the plants. They are just cryptic notes. One of the labels reads: For how long must a species of plants live in a testing field in order to feel at home? Another one asks: Where is the borderline between “domestic” and “exotic”? Among plants the little black labels are initiating a discussion we are being confronted with more and more often these days.

A debate over who is allowed to settle and thrive within the boundaries of a garden: Only indigenous plants are allowed to live here, but they may only do so, if they neither behave too dominantly nor show any signs of weakness. Didn’t we have that before? It doesn’t just seem to be the kind of debate of an Internet forum transferred into the garden scenery – it is one! To be exact it is an online debate about origins and spread of plants with political connotations and sometimes cheap comparisons. Berlin artist Roland Schefferski has planted the anonymously posted contributions from the virtual world into the real world.

Schefferski’s “Comments on our garden” an artistic intervention using the green microcosm as a metaphor, i.e. as a symbol of a marked off area for a supposedly closed society still discussing the old order, unaware of the revolutionary influences from outside that can’t no way be evaded. The question is: Which way are we going to lay out our metaphorical “society garden”? Will we fence it in or will we open it for new “immigrated” and exotic species? This question must be asked in a completely new way." (Christoph Rasch)

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