Heavy the Sea at Transformer Station, Cleveland, January 14th - May 2017
Immersive installations take the audience into an alternate orphic world, moving from beds to swamps and caves, in search of a primordial return. Here, the photographic is loosened from its referent, slipping in and out of darkness, cloaked in dripping inks, bathed in subtle hues, evoking a liquid space of night. Narratives of loss and desire are entangled like the glistening tentacles wrapped around the artist’s body. Like the coral of the Red Sea said to be formed by Medusa’s blood spilled upon seaweed, Teichmann’s work transforms one thing into another, sliding between autobiography, fiction and myth, still and moving image, sculpture and painting.
Esther Teichmann’s photographs, films and writings, picture mothers like caves, sisters like seashells, lovers like moons, tears like waterfalls. Entering the octopus darkness of Teichmann’s caverns we find ingestion and emission, mother and daughter, sister and sister, black and white, lover and lover, surrealism’s erotic jolt: the irritant that makes the pearl. Seashells with apertures like cameras. The womb as oceanic. Lovers as moons. Holding as withholding. Day as night.
In Transformer Station’s presentation, Teichmann painted the main gallery in deep muddy tones, transforming the space into a layered liquid montage. Painted photographic backdrops of swamps and caves are juxta-positioned with cyanotype seaweed creatures, a boat with cloud sails and photographs of figures dreaming in and wading through other worldly spaces.
The smaller Crane Gallery features three durational looping films, created separately, yet in dialogue with one another, forming a fragmented narrative of continual movement. Teichmann worked with international composer Deirdre Gribbin to create an original composition whose sound floods the room. Figures move towards one another with a languid, certain urgency, promising an arrival we never witness. Teichmann filmed canoeist Carlos Tapuy in the Amazon, travelling with him daily on his journeys. A silent trance like meditation ensued, he concentrating on gliding down narrow shallow waters, her gaze never wavering from his body, camera pressed into her to hold still. In a curtained boat-bed dancer Sophia Wang moves in an auto–erotic continual motion as though underwater or in a dream. Another image shows a tiny tree standing alone in an overgrown rain forest, swaying to a different beat from the foliage surrounding it.
A free zine published by Transformer Station, designed by the artist and Studio Hato, combines short stories and images by the artist with poems written in response to the work by artist-historian and writer Carol Mavor.
Esther is currently working on her first monograph (Fulmine) and a book of writing (Falling On Loss, Desire and the Photographic), to be published by Stanley/Barker in 2017.
Inland Far at Herbert Read Gallery, UCA Cantebury, September 15th - October 7th 2016 includes work by Salvatore Arancio, Miriam Austin, Adham Faramawy, Susan Finlay, Florian Roithmayr, Mimei Thompson and Esther Teichmann.
Inland Far was the original title of poet and critic Herbert Read's only novel, completed in 1934 and published as The Green Child. The exhibition uses the original title to foreground the emotional, philosophical and psychological landscapes that the work explores, which in turn connect to Read’s interest in psychoanalytic theory (in a letter to Jung he claimed that the novel was a product of automatic writing).
The book is mysterious, heavily symbolic, mythic and dream-like, and incorporates both Modern and Surrealist influences. In the final section the protagonists plunge into a pool and, surrounded by a large bubble, come out in an underground, parallel world of crystals, caverns and grottoes, with green tinted people living in a sophisticated society structured around intricate rituals and philosophies. It is the atmosphere of this section that Inland Far particularly draws upon, evoking a subterranean phosphorescent world, where the organic and inorganic, and animal-vegetable-mineral freely mingle.
Another Magazine's editor Maisie Skidmore in conversation with Teichmann about new work and ideas in Exploring the Sensuous Universe of Artist Esther Teichmann
Teichmann co-edited and produced, Staging Disorder, an exhibition and book edited and curated by the artist Christopher Stewart.
Featuring Broomberg & Chanarin, Geissler/Sann, Claudio Hils, An-My Lê, Richard Mosse, Sarah Pickering and Christopher Stewart, with site specific sound installations by CRISAP, the exhibition was shown throughout the galleries of the London College of Communication (University of the Arts London) and was designed by Studio Hato, January - March 2015.
Staging Disorder is published by Black Dog, featuring essays by the editors, David Campany, Howard Caygill, Jennifer Good, Adam Jasper and Alexandra Stara.