Dr Esther Teichmann

BA Photography, Senior Lecturer

London College of Communication


Esther Teichmann received an MA and PhD in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art. She is a senior lecturer in Photography at LCC and a visiting tutor in Critical and Historical Studies across Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. In 2012/13 Teichmann was a Guest Professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Teichmann shows and publishes her work internationally, with writing and curation a part of her practice. Recent exhibitions include solo museum show, Heavy the Sea, at Transformer Station in Cleveland, 2017, group show La Movida at HOME in Manchester, 2017 and the solo museum show, Mondschwimmen, at Zephyr Reiss-Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim Germany, 2015.

In 2015 Teichmann co-curated and co-edited Staging Disorder with artist Christopher Stewart. The exhibition and book brought together works by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Geissler/Sann, Claudio Hils, An-My Lê, Richard Mosse, Sarah Pickering and Christopher Stewart with newly commissioned essays for the book by David Campany, Howard Caygill, Jennifer Good, Adam Jesper, Alexandra Stara and the editors. The exhibition (at the LCC University Galleries in London) also included new works by Cathy Lane, Angus Carlyle and David Toop from the UAL Sound Arts Research Centre (CRISAP).

A monograph of Teichmann’s visual works and writing is forthcoming by Stanley/ Barker.

Research interests

Teichmann is an artist and writer whose work explores photography’s relationship to loss and desire. Teichmann’s visual practice works across still and moving image, collage, painting and sculpture, to create fantastical immersive installations.

Research statement

Teichmann's practice uses still and moving image, collage and painting to create alternate worlds, which blur autobiography and fiction. Central to the work lies an exploration of the origins of fantasy and desire and how these are bound to experiences of loss and representation. Both filmic works and photographs of turned away bodies and primordial spaces of enchantment work with the relationships between images, and the narratives these juxtapositions create.

Across writing, photographic works and film pieces, we move from real to imagined spaces, exploring the relationship between loss, desire and the imaginary. Within staged fantastical images, the subjects are turned-away figures of loss, desired but always already beyond reach. The photographic medium is worked upon with painting, collage and montage, narrative voice over juxtaposed with moving image. Here, the photographic is loosened from its referent, slipping in and out of darkness, cloaked in inks and bathed in subtle hues of tinted light. The spaces inhabited within the films and images are womb-like liquid spaces of night, moving from beds to swamps and caves, from the mother to the lover in search of a primordial return. Central to the work lies an exploration of the origins of fantasy and desire and how these are bound to experiences of loss and rep­resentation.

Into, Out From, Through: Esther Teichmann and the Photograph as a Portal calls for a new way to look at photographs, not as mirrors of or windows into the world but as portals between personal and universal, reality and supernatural and photography and other mediums, examining the work of Esther Teichmann in these terms. Through the layering of memory, desire, fear, fiction and fantasy, Teichmann uses and extends the photographic medium as a passage between realms of experience and artistic creation. Her work exploits the tension between photography’s relationship to reality and sense of otherworldly power. This complex, even troubled relationship with the medium has yielded a passionate foray into others.

Jessica Brier, (SFMOMA curator of Photographs - Introduction to Daylight Digital feature (to be published Dec 2013)

Teichmann's utopian island-world lies somewhere between black and blue seas, between here and now and the fantasy of where one might go, or perhaps, even, where one has been. 

Carol Mavor, Love in Black and Blue.

Selected research outputs

  • Heavy the Sea

    Teichmann, Esther (2017) Heavy the Sea. [Show/Exhibition]

  • Mondschwimmen

    Teichmann, Esther (2015) Mondschwimmen. [Show/Exhibition]

  • Staging Disorder

    Stewart, Christopher and Teichmann, Esther (2015) Staging Disorder. [Show/Exhibition]

  • In: Staging Disorder

    Teichmann, Esther (2015) Staging Disorder. In: Staging Disorder. Black Dog Publishing, London. ISBN 978-1-910433-15-7