Dominik Styk’s work has features of the natural and original, encapsulating itself within a realm of fantasy. This natural fantasy is at the same time interwoven with the structure of the everyday.
Formally his creative output could be characterised by its patient and assiduous handcraft, its emphasis on detail, intuitive development of shapes in the form of the fibrillation and sewing of textiles, and its contemplation in the material.
Dominik’s objects are inspired by fungoid, animal and floral motifs, which he frequently appropriates and elaborates in installations composed of pleated materials, and he produces figurative puppets and more abstract objects. However, his fragments from the realm of plants, fungi and fauna most often metamorphose and create new hybrid individuals of an imaginative kind. They are not an imitation, but rather a creative extension of the morphology of individual species.
In his material associations, Dominik elaborates what we might refer to as a certain natural consciousness, which is subject to certain principles that evolve naturally and at random, without an initial plan. As human artefacts his creations are necessarily subordinate to certain initial plans, but are shaped to a greater or lesser extent by a natural intuition.
Important elements are proliferation, fibrillation and mutual intergrowth. For example, there are parasitic fungi which grow together with insects and have a beneficial influence on their behaviour. Or conversely insects, which transform the material of tree trunks from within into their nests. We could find many such similar examples of complex inter-species ecology. There is also an expressive formation of superficial structures and rasters, imitating the natural processes of surfaces, their disintegration or corrosion.
Within the space of the gallery, Dominik places his marionettes and objects within spatial constellations in which they mutually glance at one another, pulsing with the possibility of interaction. We feel their mutual and vacillating appraisal, the flow of unaffected energy. And if we do not feel it, we can at least imagine these flows. We naively wish for them to launch themselves into motion, since we perceive a hidden faith that these creatures, in their innocent behaviour, cannot disappoint us as people do.
It is a world similar to a stage, which is no coincidence, since Dominik studied alternative stage design and has experience of the theatre. This is projected into a performative approach to his creative work. At the designated time, the stage sets in the gallery thus become an arena for a spontaneous physical experience, an interaction with marionettes and the installation as such. In this process it is as if the actors in this performance are like human motors for the wearing of costumes, materials and objects.
A significant role is also played by the masks and costume elements, which are applied in order to cover, refashion or extend the identity of the wearer. In Dominik’s conception it is rather the masks and costumes that wear us. In this spirit, rather than an acting performance it represents a choreography of movement, which clothes itself in materials and meanings. The performances do not have preset narratives, but each costume bears certain rules, and the events unfold in an improvisation framed by these rules. The interplay proceeds from synthesis to analysis. Through a synthesis of bodies, movements and objects it achieves an effect that subsequently may, though need not necessarily be analysed by the viewer.
Dominik Styk works in horticulture, and has a view of thatched roofs from the window of his house on an island.