Fever Dream at Gianni Manhattan

Artist: Beth Collar, Matthieu Haberard, Brook Hsu,  Simon Mathers, Siggi Sekira, Lewis Teague Wright

Exhibition title: Fever Dream

Venue: Gianni Manhattan, Vienna, Austria

Date: March 22 – May 18, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Gianni Manhattan, Vienna

Gianni Manhattan is pleased to present the group show Fever Dream with Beth Collar, Matthieu Haberard, Brook Hsu, Simon Mathers, Siggi Sekira and Lewis Teague Wright.

”Lavender colours hover in space like butterflies. Slender flutes extend toward the heavens and fragile melodies burst in the air like bubbles. The rosy shapes keep sprouting from the wounded earth. All of a sudden, thundering anew. Is the Earth bearing children? The shapes dissolve in midair, scared away. Corollas wilt and colours darken. And the Earth, arms contracted in pain, splits open into fresh black fissures. A strong smell of wounded earth wafts in dense plumes of smoke. A century of Silence.”

– Clarice Lispector, Fever Dreams

“It’s the worms. You have to be patient and wait. And while we wait, we have to find the exact moment when the worms come into being . . . It’s very important, it’s very important for us all.”

– Samantha Schweblin, Fever Dream

The medical explanation of a fever dream is an overheating of the brain due to an increased body temperature, extending and deepening the phase of REM, resulting in unforgettable lucid dreams.

This state has been an inspiration for two Southern American writers, Clarice Lispector and Samantha Schweblin, who each wrote a story called Fever Dream(s), over half a century apart from each other.

Both narratives tell a story that is in neither anchored in a reality, nor drifted completely into a dreamscape. Both stories are narrated from an internal void, an elevated transcendental state that allows the lucid unpeeling of the layers of the real world, a thorough observation of the world we live in that is only made possible by the removal of the narrator from the parameters of logic and physics.

In a similar fashion, Fever Dream and the six artistic positions within it, follow a fissure that runs neither on an inside nor an outside, they are narrated from an almost disembodied space.

Lewis Teague Wright’s banquet table, covered in barnacles with eyes that relentlessly attempt to follow intruders throughout the room; Beth Collar’s earthen pelvic bone and bust with an exposed interior is resting or are abandoned; the manic, psychedelic, conjoined eyes and mouths of Simon Mathers’ paintings; Matthieu Haberad’s dismembered warrior mask, recounting the story of an awol musician and his mission of regicide; Siggi Sekira’s half turtle and half human child, curiously observing and contemplating; and finally, Brook Hsu’s depictions of horned skeletons drunk by ingesting muddy pond water.

Connecting all six practices, there is an investigation of interiority, explored from standpoints such as domesticity, voyeurism or anatomy.  The works oscillate between Mark Fisher’s definition of eerie, which he understood as “a failure of absence or a failure of presence” and the weird, which is a disturbing obtrusion of something from the outside in. It is the insidious intrusion, the confounding juxtaposition, the thing found in the wrong place.

Fever Dream (Beth Collar, Matthieu Haberard, Brook Hsu, Simon Mathers, Siggi Sekira, Lewis Teague Wright), installation view (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artists

Fever Dream (Beth Collar, Matthieu Haberard, Brook Hsu, Simon Mathers, Siggi Sekira, Lewis Teague Wright), installation view (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artists

Brook Hsu, three skeletons drinking pond water from römers (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Brook Hsu, two skeletons drinking (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Lewis Teague Wright, Communal (II) (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Lewis Teague Wright, Communal (II) (detail) (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Lewis Teague Wright, Communal (II) (detail) (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Fever Dream (Beth Collar, Matthieu Haberard, Brook Hsu, Simon Mathers, Siggi Sekira, Lewis Teague Wright), installation view (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artists

Beth Collar, Pelvic Antichrist (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Simon Mathers, Oh no no no, Asbo (2018), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Fever Dream (Beth Collar, Matthieu Haberard, Brook Hsu, Simon Mathers, Siggi Sekira, Lewis Teague Wright), installation view (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artists

Fever Dream (Beth Collar, Matthieu Haberard, Brook Hsu, Simon Mathers, Siggi Sekira, Lewis Teague Wright), installation view (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artists

Siggi Sekira, Nine Little Murmurs (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Matthieu Haberard, Resistant (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Fever Dream (Beth Collar, Matthieu Haberard, Brook Hsu, Simon Mathers, Siggi Sekira, Lewis Teague Wright), installation view (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artists

Simon Mathers, Oh oh oh oh, no (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Simon Mathers, Oh ho (2018), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artist

Fever Dream (Beth Collar, Matthieu Haberard, Brook Hsu, Simon Mathers, Siggi Sekira, Lewis Teague Wright), installation view (2019), photo: Simon Veres, courtesy GIANNI MANHATTAN and the artists

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