RESEARCH] 1000 Words Interview – Esther Teichmann

10 June 2017



Interview with Ester Teichmann by Brad Feuerhelm

[Q]Usually I do not refer directly to reference material and I have not really worked directly from specific works.

[Q]I included material that I am influenced by, pairing images afterwards and playing with juxtapositions

[Q]All my work is set within a fictional space, which is closer to how I see the world with closed eyes.

[Q]The spaces inhabited within the films and images are womb-like liquid spaces of night, moving from beds to swamps and caves, from the mother to the lover in search of a primordial return.

[Q]In some way, all the images are more about myself than the subjects depicted – they are always bodies I desire, bodies close to me, whether family, lovers or friends. The lover and the artist turn their beloved, their subject, into an object, and within this shift a kind of violence occurs, complicating this meeting further, drawing the other, now object, into an auto-erotic, fetishistic relationship. The condition of artist and lover is one of projection, of idealised and imaginary, narcissistic image; this representation is now one’s ‘truth’, the imagined and real no longer separable.

[Q]I am drawn to works, which explore human relationships and look at desire and loss as bound to one another.

[Q]I am fascinated by what we can never know about the bodies and subjects we desire, about the mother and lovers’ lives before we knew them, and the people they are when not with us – it is within this context that I am interested in the fantasy of the other.

[Q]Throughout my practice there is the slippage and confusion between loving an image, a fantasy in place of it’s subject.

[Q]It is the violence, the shame and the necessity of momentarily putting the work, the image, before the person, that haunts me repeatedly.

[Q]My relationship to the photographic image, whether still or moving, is less connected to the idea of delivering transparency or of a copy, rather, the camera and image function here as metaphors for subjectivity, memory and desire. The real is transformed from one thing into another in a magical totemistic process, fracturing any claims of the photograph as evidence. Momentarily photography delivers the perhaps universal and timeless desire to become one with another, sought within the lovers’ embrace. I fall into the image, into the projected, miniature crystalline glow of the body I will lose.

[Q]In my sketchbooks I have always written fictional texts alongside the image making, and drew on top of and extensions of the photographs to plan further set constructions and new images, then realized this was as much the work as the ‘final image’, so began including reference material, collages, etchings and painting into photographs and film pieces with voice-over narratives in my process. This crossover between the photographic and other media is something I have always worked with and perhaps is a reflection of the works I am drawn to and look at within my research.