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Image: Esther Teichmann and Monster Chetwynd: Phantasie Fotostudio II
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Esther Teichmann and Monster Chetwynd: Phantasie Fotostudio II

14 February 2019

Phantasie Fotostudio II
16 February 2019 - 23 May 2019
John Hansard Gallery

Phantasie Fotostudio II is the most recent work made as part of the ongoing collaboration between artists Esther Teichmann and Monster Chetwynd. Since having first met at the Royal College of Art during their MA studies in 2004, the pair have been struck by the parallels in reference materials that their very distinct practices draw upon. Their practices also overlap in their adoption of tableaux vivantes and their use of theatrical backdrops and sets. Thus begun a dialogue and close friendship that has taken the form of making a joint body of work once a decade.

Utilising photography and collage, the work playfully draws on diverse references, from Walter Benjamin’s essay Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Man Ray and Lee Miller’s solarisations, to Brigitte Bardot as Roger Vadim’s muse, Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon (1980, dir. Randal Kleiser), Satyricon, David Lynch, and Walkabout (1971, dir. Nicholas Roeg). The subjects within these works recall imagined icons, at once beautiful and grotesque, a Frankenstein of moments in modern cinema and culture, each work unique and distinctly archival in quality, as though found on the kind of cutting-room floor you might encounter in a dream. All the protagonists are part of the artists’ circle of friends, artists, curators, musicians in their own right, with the inclusion of family.

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