The Galerie Les filles du calvaire is pleased to announce the exhibition “On Sleeping and Drowning” by Esther Teichmann, who for the second time in Paris will present a staged set faithful to her artistic writing. From painted photographs to videos and installations, the artist gives us a spiritual, naturalistic and fragmentary account of a serious sensuality.
Esther Teichmann’s mesmerizing photographs show the influence of German Romanticism and the cinema on a work that ignores conventions, as much as it respects them: “Rather than working directly from a history of Specific art, I collect documents from various sources: paintings, newspaper clippings and film images, which I pin in the studio. These bodies, their gestures and their narrative potential, become free references that I reconstruct. “. Painting and photography become one. When ink and paint do not run directly on the print, they serve as a background. The hues are subtle, mineral and open to a fantasy world that is dreamlike, delirious and impenetrable.
On Sleeping and Drowning turns the gallery space into a surrealist montage, a multi-layered assemblage. Through the use of large repainted photographic backdrops, the walls become caves that carry photographs of sleeping women, skies and curious cyanotypes of algae. When the artist chooses the cave, it is with the idea of the cave refers to the pure interiority suggested. This mineral cradle, cold and virgin, becomes under the painting of Teichmann a place of withdrawal and meditation. The woman is nymph or mother, asleep and dreamy. The omnipresent nature. Esther Teichmann grew up in southern Germany, surrounded by lakes, rivers and forests. It thus draws its formal ideal from the transcendental strength and beauty of nature. Her childhood memories of the Black Forest enrich her repertoire; wild bathing, canoeing and stormy nights under tents are all scenes that her models replay. Obviously the landscapes they occupy are at first interior, strange and complex like the spirit.
We must see in this corpus of images of the artist an evolutionary and especially fruitful set whose roots exist elsewhere. It is a fragmentary story that feeds on exhibitions. Esther Teichmann is also an exhibition curator and this reality has a profound influence on her work and the very rhythm of her creation. The police station with its creative and scenic dynamic is a link between the work, the place and the public. From then on, a partial narrative is constructed that is more of a dreamlike evocation than a strict narrative.
“Literature, film and my own writings are essential in my creative process and my reflection on images. I write images before turning them into visual objects. During the writing, my memories and my autobiography become fictional. Characters inspired by existing people become blurred and confused, they take the form of someone else. ”
The Fulmine film installation synthesizes in movement all the art of Esther Teichmann: eroticism, nature, and vital force. In this video triptych, the characters attempt a languid rapprochement whose outcome remains uncertain. Teichmann filmed Canoeist Carlos Tapuy in the Amazon, accompanying him daily on silent and meditative journeys. The dancer Sophia Wang moves in a bed-boat, in a continuous auto-erotic movement. Between them, a small isolated tree in a rain forest sways differently from the surrounding vegetation. All on an original score for string quartet composed by Deirdre Gribbin.
The exhibition On Sleeping and Drowning is the making of a dream between sleep and drowning. It is not a question of death but of a total abandonment, like orgasm.
 Rather than working directly from specific art-history I collect material from various sources, from the Renaissance and Orientalist paintings, and the film is still in the studio. These bodies, their gestures and narrative potential, become loose references, which I then build upon.
Esther Teichmann – On Sleeping and Drowning
from April 12 to May 11, 2019
Galerie Les Filles du calvaire
17, rue des Filles-du-Calvaire