Esther Teichmann at Transformer Station

Esther Teichmann: Heavy the Sea
January 14 through April 30, 2017
Heavy the Sea_3
Transformer Station is pleased to present the first solo museum show of UK artist Esther Teichmann. This multi-media exhibition blends photography, painting, found objects, video and music into an immersive environment.

Heavy the Sea takes us into an alternate orphic world, moving from beds to swamps and caves, from mother to lover, 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.

Teichmann’s practice looks at the relationships between loss, desire and the Imaginary. Blurring autobiography and fiction, narratives emerge from photographic fragments, working across the still and moving image, sculpture and painting.


She dives into blackness. Hurtling into and through darkness, everything inside her breathes with strength and relief. She swims downwards and away from land, eyes open, seeing nothing, saltwater entering every pore.

Something is shifting, changing. Waters churn faster, a low rumbling building steadily from a far off place. Black clouds plunge this otherworldly stage into momentary darkness, their edges deep cyan and petrol blues, backlit as the moon’s spotlight re-emerges. Looking back towards land, she imagines him sleeping with abandon, a world away. Low groaning escalates into distant cracks of thunder. Slivers of light flash on the horizon with a precision and force that betray their seeming delicacy. She thinks of his scar, of the almost ecstatic joy spreading across his face as he told her of the night he swam in lightning.

The rolling waves turn violently, breaking rhythm, no longer a gentle embrace. She should leave now, return to the rapidly diminishing shore, come back to her body, her separateness, lie beside him as though she had never left. Reluctance lingers and she hesitates too long. Raised up, tossed and recaptured, dragged under by a raging weight, her body sags, resistance futile. Every part of her is penetrated, pummeled by the howling sea. She gives in to the fury, knowing that only then will it release her. The skies turn upside down and as suddenly as she had found herself drowning, she is now expelled, thrown towards land.

She lies motionless, half submerged, eyes closed, returning slowly. Rain pours down, washing the salt away. And still it clings to her, seaweed in hair, Medusa writhing.




Biography:

Esther Teichmann grew up in southern Germany surrounded by lakes, rivers and forests. Her earliest memories are of being in and on water, sleeping in tents in thunderstorms and floating in canoes.

Teichmann received an MA and PhD in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art and lives and works in London. A monograph of visual works, Fulmine, and a book of essays, Falling – On Loss, Desire and the Photographic, will be published by Stanley/ Barker in 2017.