With the appearance of The Thing meets Lovecraft, Jan Manski’s series of body horror sculptures are not for the faint of heart. Onania is an infected universe that has been accumulating character and detail since Jan Manski’s MA at Central Saint Martins in 2010.
Onania 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.
The work of Jan Manski is striking, even sensational. Manski realises his vision with a perversely visceral language which creates a coherent, highly stylised world with a menacing futuristic edge. It interrogates and parodies our consumerist culture.
Onania’s inhabitants are rapidly infected and disfigured, as by a medieval plague, presented in Manski’s glossily ubiquitous, cloying pink. These objects form a series entitled Aetiology Unknown. Skulls, leather, teeth and terrifyingly dated surgical instruments bulge and surge against each other in these sculptures.
Even the machine itself is disfigured by a grotesque seepage, spewing combinations of human fat sourced from liposuction clinics, and synthetic materials, largely vinyl acetate. Natural and manufactured elements are brought into fearfully close proximity and become interchangeable, blurring the secure borders of human recognition and refusing reassurance.