Jan Manski’s current project, POSSESIA, presents an uncompromising body of work whose evolution reveals a ritualised re-awakening of the destruction that spread across Europe 100 years ago. The show will be on view at Breese Little, London, starting with the 27th February 2014.
Manski has been developing POSSESIA since 2010 as the starting point for his working trilogy of POSSESIA, ONANIA and EUGENICA. The POSSESIA universe is composed of Manski’s sculpture, film and collage techniques. As in ONANIA, Manski presents a lexicon of cruelty in POSSESIA, introducing a pagan world of the occult merged with a God-sent plague.
The Idol looms over his environment as the grand Master of Ceremonies, whose oppressive authority is only implied by his absence. The perpetrator’s mutated face is always obscured or burned away in reproduction. POSSESIA’s metaphor of violence is evoked through dark, organic materials including fur, leather, soil, antlers, despoiled vintage mannequins and animal bones assembled with steel. Physical labour is indicated through rusting tools and defunct farming machinery, while animal remains and synthetic objects discoloured with earth evoke an authoritarian machine-aesthetic. Abandoned photographs and anatomical plates indicate the central protagonist’s brutal existence. As the totemic sculptures, grotesque mannequins and stylised instruments of torture, these objects are fetishised in glass cabinets.
POSSESIA’s shamanistic atmosphere suggests latent drives within human nature, intentionally suppressed in favour of reassuring behaviour. Nevertheless, Manski’s recent universe proves that these instincts can be channelled into familiar cycles of violence.
From his previous projects, we mention Onania, which hosts an alternate reality and fertile breeding ground for mankind’s most despicable modern habits. Narcissism bred from frantic consumer culture is shownat its most destructive, with Onania’s inhabitants seeking its prime offering – unadulterated and uninterrupted pleasure. Manski’s meticulous and total attention to minute detail has borne a product encased in the methodologies of this eminently inviting and hostile environment.