Cosima von Bonin came of age as an artist in the 1990s amid the storied art scene in Cologne. In her practice, mixed references to art history, popular culture, and music are seen in tandem with a destabilising approach to craft and domestic activities. Many of her recent installations are populated with casts of cartoonish fabric characters – fish, whales, mushrooms, dogs, rockets – whose endearing appearances conjure a range of contradictions: delight and horror, softness and rigidity, and humour and sorrow. For von Bonin’s contributions to The Milk of Dreams (all 2022), these contradictions emerge through one of the artist’s favourite subjects: sea creatures. On the Giardini’s Central Pavilion’s façade we find WHAT IF THEY BARK 01-07, plastic sharks and fish adorned with surf boards, electric guitars, ukuleles, sarongs, and stuffed gingham-patterned missiles. Behind the façade’s columns are SCALLOPS (GLASS VERSION), a pair of scallops on a trapeze swing, and HERMIT CRAB (GLASS VERSION), a pair of plump crab claws draped on a cement mixer; next door to the installation, sea creatures flank a venetian boat (titled VENICE 1984). Playing with topical concerns such as capital, leisure, comfort, and performance of the self, von Bonin likewise satirises the affectations of contemporary art – particularly the storied lineage of the readymade – and of art history.