24.09.09 — 31.10.09 ‘Lulled into believing’, Esther Teichmann and Henrietta Simson

Man&Eve is pleased to present ‘Lulled into believing’, a collaboration between Henrietta Simson and Esther Teichmann.

‘Lulled into believing’ brings together two practices that converge through their processes and frames of reference. Drawing upon historical art precedents including early Renaissance and Orientalist painting, both artists explore the slippage between painted and photographed realities. They each play with the melding of photographic media, painting and drawing to question notions of what is ‘real’ and what is ‘original’.

Simson works with landscape imagery found in historical paintings, newspaper cuttings and other sources, removing the narrative in order to examine the construction of space and perspective.

Teichmann places her subjects into actual spaces, yet removes the specificity of the place by painting into the landscapes. In doing so, she creates fantastical sets that conjure up impossible, non-existent places.

Simson’s paintings examine pictorial methodologies from the early Renaissance, borrowing from and reproducing compositions to duplicate early experiments in the use of perspective. In her installation pieces, projected light hovers upon a primed or gilded surface, which is interrupted by drawn or cut marks. The surface and the reflected light compete with each other, as if to confuse the retina and physically disrupt the viewer’s perspective. This creates elusive and intriguing images that are in counterpoint to the obstinate solidity of the whirring light mechanics by which they are produced.

In Teichmann’s work, the photographic surface is painted upon to illusory effect, producing evocative scenes of half-submerged figures within dripping, painted wildernesses. Reality is heightened through the addition of artificial colours and marks, although the eye remains confused about where one reality ends and another begins. In her filmic installations, created through the layering together of different sources of found-footage and sound, new psychological spaces are carved out in which emotionally charged narratives are implied but never stated.

‘Lulled into believing’ unsettles our perceptions of literal and emotional space, revealing the extent to which we can never be certain of what we know, see or feel.