Esther Teichman and Monster Chetwynd Phantasie Fotostudio II

Phantasie Fotostudio II is the most recent work made as part of the ongoing collaboration between artists Esther Teichmann and Monster Chetwynd.

Their previous collaboration was made and shown in Berlin in 2007. Utilising photography and collage, these works playfully draw on diverse references, from Walter Benjamin’s essay Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Man Ray and Lee Miller’s solarisations, to 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. All the protagonists are part of the artists’ circle of friends, artists, curators, musicians in their own right, with the inclusion of family.

Phantasie Fotostudio II brings many of the same protagonists together again along with new collaborators in this Warholesque film montage of extended portraits. Punctuated by the repetition of a crying figure, the film becomes a narrative of gazes, dramatized further by the original string quartet score by Benji Jeffrey. Directed by Esther Teichmann, all the subjects selected costumes from Monster Chetwynd’s extraordinary wardrobe, with contributions by artist and make-up enthusiast Paul Kindersley. This recent collaboration features a new generation of artist protagonists alongside Teichmann’s and Chetwynd’s peers, but also their own children, both in front of and behind the camera.

Phantasie Fotostudio II has been commissioned by John Hansard Gallery.