Heavy the Sea at Transformer Station, Cleveland, January - May 2017.
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.
A Place and Time, Lian Zhou Museum of Photography, Lianzhou, Guangdong, China, 2017
Awaiting Oblivion, Rostrum Project Space, Malmo, Sweden
Push It, Esther Teichmann and Chantal Faust, Lychee One Gallery, London. A Cave and a Seaweed Octopus, Teichmann's live painting performance of a large-scale backdrop of a cavernous opening, includes new work of a seaweed octopus ravishing an ecstatic, dreaming woman. Heads, Haiku and Jellyfish , Chantal Faust performs writing haikus and painting heads whilst djing.
In Search of Lightning, Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris, November
Mondschwimmen, Zephyr, Reiss-Engelhorn Museum, Mannheim, Germany June - September
Teichmann's first museum solo show combined film installations, large scale painted backdrops, scultpures and photographic works. During the exhibition, a string quartet performance of the score composed by Deidre Gribbin for Esther's film installation, Fulmine, featuring dancer and artist Sophia Wang, was held in the museum concert hall. Writer Carol Mavor read new poems written in response to images within the show, while Teichmann read her own short stories, published in the artist book accompanying the show. Mondschwimmen, an artist book published by Zephyr, Reiss-Engelhorn Museum in conjunction with the exhibition combines new work with short stories by the artist (limited editions with prints available).
Fractal Scars, Salt Water and Tears, Flowers Gallery, London, April. Cascading waterfalls and seashells whispering the lapping of waves are juxtaposed with statues who seem to be stepping out of the stone from which they are carved. A large scale backdrop of a cave is painted in dripping inks. Languid female nudes punctuate mythical landscapes, auto-erotic in their gaze and gesture, eyes turned away or averted to storm clouds above them. A pregnant woman lies under a night sky with a child lying between her thighs, another rests on her elbow, back turned, swallowed by the darkness of the boat-bed she is lying upon. Sisters, friends, lovers, strangers, these women of flesh and stone tell us of pleasure and longing.
Fractal Scars, Salt Water and Tears, Levallois Award Exhibition, Paris (with Larry Sultan/ Mike Mandel and Lucas Blalock exhibitions)
Falling, Royal College of Art, London, November
Mythologies, Severed Head Project Space, Dublin
Lulled into Believing, Esther Teichmann & Henrietta Simson, Man&Eve, London, September
Mythologies, RMIT Project Space, Melbourne, August
Fragments, Galerie Karlheinz Meyer, Karlsruhe, Germany, May
Silently Mirrored, Man&Eve, London, September
The Esthacus Teichwynd Photos, Spartacus Chetwynd & Esther Teichmann, Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin, July
La Movida at HOME Manchester with Bruce LaBruce, Derek Jarman, Linder Sterling, Esther Teichmann and others, curated by Sarah Perks. The exhibition sets new commissions reacting to the movement alongside existing international works that explore major conceits of La Movida less directly including freedom and excess, hedonism and transgression. Forty years since the transition to democracy, the exhibition and its related films, performance and literature present a re-imaging of a movement with a strong contemporary artistic and socio-political resonance today.
The accompanying publication, Dark Habits, explores freedom and indulgence, hedonism, transgression, sex and moral conventions through short stories, poetry, essay, experimental writing and flash-fiction in this new publication. Featuring contributions by Oreet Ashery, Shumon Basar, Marissa Burgess, Luis López Carrasco, Mercedes Cebrián, Chantal Faust, La JohnJoseph, Jonathan Kemp, Anne Louise Kershaw, Omar Kholeif, Patricia MacCormack, Adam O’Riordan, Sarah Perks, Heather Phillipson, Natasha Stallard, Esther Teichmann, Greg Thorpe, Jason Wood & James King.
Inland Far at Herbert Read Gallery, UCA Cantebury, 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.
A Lover’s Discord, Kontor Projects, Malmo, Sweden
We Come from the Water, Esther Teichmann, Carol Mavor and Chantal Faust, Lychee One Gallery, London
Femina, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Le Pavillion Vendome, Paris
What should have remanied secret, has come to light, Kontor Projects, Malmo, Sweden
The Constructed View, curated by Louise Mazmanian, including work by Tom Hunter, Cristina De Middel, Adam Broomberg& Oliver Chanarin, Dong Gang Museum of Photography, Korea
Convulsive Walls, curated by Steffi Klenz including work by Anna Barriball, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Steffi Klenz, Gregor Schneider, Helen Sear, Lindsay Seers, Departure Lounge, Luton
In Appropriation, curated by Aaron Schuman including work by Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Seba Kurtis, Michael Wolf, Melinda Gibson, Houston Centre for Photography, Houston, Texas
Wahlverwandschaften, Stadtgalerie Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
Regarding Painting, including work by Diana Copperwhite, Sarah Dwyer, Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Paul Nugent, Axel Sanson, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin
The Borrowed Loop, including work by Ori Gersht, Michael Whittle, Bouke de Vries, Karin Brunnermeier, Filippo Caramazza, Man&Eve, London
In Our World, curated by Filippo Maggia, including work by Sarah Pickering, Anne Hardy, Sophy Rickett, Becky Beasly, Modena Civica Museum of Photography, Modena, Italy