It’s hard to know where to begin describing artist Jan Manski’s brutal new show forthcoming at London’s BREESE LITTLE gallery. Called “Possesia” and opening to the public on February 26, it’s a surreal and over the top look at “archaic instruments” turned into end-of-the-world machinery used by some unnamed conquering force of the future.
Ultimately intended as a series of hyperbolic references to World War II, Manski’s elaborate exhibition looks more like a museum of the world’s end assembled by bondage-obsessed witchdoctors, Nazi-like shamanic engineers from the 31st century dedicated to black magic and planetary-scale misanthropy.
In the gallery’s own description, the exhibition features “despoiled vintage mannequins and animal bones assembled with steel,” statuary assembled from soil, leather, fur, and antlers, and other nightmarish glimpses of a world where “animal remains and synthetic objects discoloured with earth evoke an authoritarian machine-aesthetic.”
In Manski’s blackened future, abandoned agricultural equipment has been transformed into “stylised instruments of torture” applied literally to the faces and heads of what appear to be humanity’s last survivors.
Obviously, this is not for everyone!
But its unflinching look at the dark materials of future colonial domination seems equal parts speculative sci-fi and morally engaged cautionary tale, the worst days of 20th-century history retold through the detailed props of Manski’s machine-allegory, a myth of science and industry gone awry.
Manski, not one to look on the bright side, it seems, is currently preparing a new show, following up on “Possesia” and its predecessor, “Onania,” to be called “Eugenica”: “Eugenica will examine man’s capacity to extinguish himself and his neighbour through extreme interpretations of Darwinian selection.” Happy Valentine’s Day! [BREESE LITTLE]
All images courtesy BREESE LITTLE