Phillip Janta, Schrebergarten, 2010
© Phillip Janta, 2010
The garden club member draws pensively on his cigarette and pursues some indeterminate contemplative employment. He appears not to be aware of the crocodile just beyond the arbour that has begun assaulting the plastic flamingos. In the next image there’s even a Tyrannosaurus Rex emerging from the shadows behind a derelict caravan, advancing so large-footed but so silently tiptoeing into the scene as to provoke a mere shrug of the shoulders. Furthermore, in the third of the four scenes, no-one seems to care that the free-floating UFO in a summer night’s sky leaving the tapestry, which in turn reveals itself upon closer inspection to be the apparent scene of a violent crime. At first sight everything seems so wonderfully normal and nothing seems capable of disturbing the deceptive calm in which everything has its assigned place. It is precisely this idyllic refuge of the highest bourgeois cultivation that seems to accord this bizarre type of black humour its strongest justification. It takes a moment to realise that in all of these illustrations by Philip Janta something is obviously going terribly wrong. This is nevertheless brought out playfully and ironically. The prints gathered under the title “Schrebergarten” were made for the Latvian comic magazine Kush!, which last year published a special edition on the subject in collaboration with the Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig.
4 prints, original size 30 × 60 cm, monochrome