Roland Schefferski

Galerie Weber

An early photograph by Roland Schefferski portrays the artist’s shadow filling the outline traced by the artist in the snow. This self-portrait was created while he was a student in Wroclaw and marks the beginning of his consideration of issues surrounding identity, biography, and self-portraiture. This exhibition included very few objects—a table and chair, a curtain, a wardrobe, a basket, and a coat—all of which seemed to refer to their absent owners.

In the corner of the large exhibition space, he placed a basket in a bundle of flowered cloth onto which he had embroidered the outline of his son Kai. The artist hung a curtain in front of a window that also had the outlines of a naked man and naked woman embroidered on it. If one closed the curtain, the figures stood across from each other; if one opened it, the figures separated.

In the entrance to the second room there was a white wardrobe into which Schefferski had cut his profile. The opening of the wood door gave a clear view of the shelves inside, on which he had placed his own catalogues. In the neighboring room, he installed a bed, a chair, and a table. As if they had recently been used, a blanket and pillow lay crumpled on the bed, a white tablecloth partially covered the table, and on the chair hung a gray coat—a piece of Schefferski’s clothing—on which had been embroidered the profile of his son.

The unpretentious furniture seemed to define a particular view of existence. Here questions were raised about the double role of these pieces as functional objects and as artworks, while the window in the door at the end of the room functioned like a painting. This exhibition gave the impression that Schefferski wanted to anchor a fleeting reality: the installation, in its minimal style, possessed aspects of a stage set where even the actors had become superfluous. The reduction of the medium to its most elemental level is the essence of Schefferski’s methodology as it is that of the Polish artists Mariusz Kruk and Marek Chlanda.

Peter Funken

Translated from the German by Charles V. Miller.