Kahn & Selesnick

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Truppe Fledermaus


100 Views of the Drowning World, 2012-13

2 Figures, 2012-13

A Concert for the Ghosts, 2012-13

A Distant Storm, 2012-13

A Ship of Fools, 2012-13

Action Painter, 2013

Aris Kindt, 2012-13

Ark, 2012-13

Aspects of the Moon, 2012-13

Baba Yaga's House, 2012-13

Cartesian Theatre, 2012-13

Dust Bowl , 2012-13

Featherman is Abroad, 2012-13

Fiddlehead, 2012-13

Head Above Water, 2012-13

Itinerant Puppeteer , 2012-13

Kabuki, 2012-13

Madagascar, 2012-13

Man and Featherman, 2012-13

Marsh-wiggles, 2012-13

Melora, 2012-13

Minor Arcana, 2012-13

On a Flowering Path, 2012-13

Plague Doctor, 2012-13

Plucked of My Heart, 2012-13

Poster Walls , 2012-13

Superheroes Are Go! , 2012-13

The Face Behind the Face, 2012-13

The Memory Palace, 2012-13

The Peaceable Gilliemen, 2012-13

The Reluctant Conscript , 2012-13

The Volcano, 2012-13

The Wave, 2012-13

The Weasel, 2012-13

Tsunami, 2012-13

Valse Triste, 2012-13

Witch's Rave, 2012-13

Mask Cart, 2013

Bat Procession, 2013

Boneyard, 2013

The Prophet of the Ditch, 2013

A Portrait, 2012-13

A Queer Tea Party, 2012-13

Bat In A Tree, 2012-13

Bird Thrower, 2012-13

Bridge, 2012

Deluge, 2012

Garden Suburb, 2012-13

Ghosts of the Shipwreck, 2012-13

Green Crown, 2012-13

Green God, 2012

High Water Mark, 2012-13

King of Birds, 2012-13

World on Its Head, 2012-13

King of Weeds, 2012-13

Man of Leeks and Flowers, 2012-13

March of the Beehives, 2012-13

Mirror Eyes, 2012-2013

On a Sea of Sand, 2012-13

Precipice, 2012-13

Queen Charlotte, 2012-13

Raven Tree, 2012

Reginald Perrin, 2012-13

Ropeman, 2012

Salty Harvest, 2012-13

Squawk!, 2012

The Age of Wire and String, 2012-13

The Dark Puppeteer, 2012-13

The Dark Rider, 2012-13

The Jolly Company, 2012-13

The Lonely Word, 2012-13

The Ship's Doctor, 2012-13

The Wheelbarrow, 2012-13

Three Bats In a Boat, 2012-13

Three Jumpers, 2012-13

Tulip Mania, 2012-13

Red-Handed, 2012-13

Shoe, 2012-13

The Nasty Tailors, 2012-13

Vernal Pool, 2102-13

Vladimir and Estragon, 2012-13

Voyage of Greenman, 2012-13

Water Meadow, 2012

Cart Pullers, 2012-13

The Lazy Gardener, 2012

Cart Putters

Voyage of Greenman, 2012

Das Tatowierte Wunder (The Tattooed Wonder), 2012

Der Letzte Mann ( The Last Man), 2012

Todfrucht (deathfruit), 2013

Eichengeist (Oak Spirit), 2012

Kein Fisch Mehr (No More Fish), 2012

Storytellers and Conjurers 3, 2013

Memory Theater

Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea

Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea is Kahn and Selesnick’s first project to feature a female protagonist; a woman finds herself alone in a wasteland that appears to be Mars. It is uncertain how she arrived in this place, via spacecraft,  through a fold in the spacetime continuum or perhaps the landscape is a mental projection. Either way, it is clear that she has escaped an unnamed catastrophe on Earth. In a series of hallucinatory episodes she simultaneously  explores the planet and builds a mock-life for herself from a combination of hightech and stone-age materials. Mars is revealed to have ruined artifacts and monuments from a previous, or perhaps future, civilization. The remains of massive stone listening devices are littered about the landscape, leading us to wonder: is this a colony that has collapsed and lost touch with earth? How did its occupants become stranded? Or are these the nocturnal imaginings of a postapocalyptic survivor?


Abandoned Oxygen Field, 2010

Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, 2010

Sandboat, 2010

Gemini Capsule, 2010

The Double, 2010

Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon , 2010

Mother Squid, 2010

Et in Arcadia Ego 1, 2010

Et in Arcadia Ego 2, 2010

Airmaker, 2010

Bellona, 2010

Cistern, 2010

Birth, 2010

Communication, 2010

Concrete Ear 5, 2010

Concrete Ear 3, 2010

Concrete Ear 2, 2010

Concrete Ear 1, 2010

Cave 2, 2010

Elysium Planitia, 2010

Concrete Ear 6, 2010

Flying Castle, 2010
Sold

Distant Balloon, 2010

Floating Factory, 2010
Sold

Earthrise, 2010

Oracle, 2010

Squidnight, 2010

Symbiosis, 2010

Herm, 2010

Journey to Erebus Montes, 2010

Stillborn, 2010

Urbs Antiqua Fuit, 2010

The Blue Scorpion, 2010

Laocoon, 2010

Eisbergfreistadt

The creation of this principality was inspired by an actual incident in 1923 when a mammoth iceberg ran aground in the Baltic port of Lubeck, towering over the town and terrifying the populace.  Many decided (not unreasonably) that the iceberg caps were melting and the apocalypse coming.  This event inspired gloomy cafe songs and penny dreadfuls, even a deck of playing cards.

Many notegeld and inflationary currencies were issued for the Eisbergfreistadt.  Manifestos were published, and posters put up declaring the state's new ideals, citizenship requirements, etc.  Products started appearing: butter, lard, chocolate (of surprisingly high quality) etc, all stamped with the Eisbergfreistadt logo.  Although the creation of the Eisbergfreistadt is an actual historical incident, it is not clear to what extent it actually existed.

The celecstial city depicted on the iceberg seems to owe as much to the spires of Freidrich, as to the halls of ValHalla - it is a place built by Rilkean angels, too perfect for human reality, that can only be intuited by the artist.  The worldly goods of the Stadt are therefore in the context of a cruel joke ("you take art and I'll take spam").  Interestingly these apocalyptic fears proved prophetic - Lubeck was the first German city to be fire-bombed in World War II - and, despite being rebuilt, is in danger of flooding due to global warming.
                                                                                                                                                              


Image of Marzipan Iceberg, 2009

Ship of Fools, 2008

Bear Parade, 2008

Sea Plane, 2008

Currency Birds, 2008

Card Game, 2008

500 Billionen Mark , 2008

Eisbergfreistadt, Installation II

City and Iceberg, 2008

Costumed Musician, 2008

Eisbergfreistadt, Installation III

assorted photos, 2008

Bird Photo Album, 2008

Eisbergfreistadt Map, 2008

Flying Banknotes, 2008

Harnessed Man, 2008

Ice Boats, 2008

Iceberg Photo Albun, 2008

Lubeck, 2008

Nude Man with Animal, 2008

Man with Pole and Hanging Objects, 2008

Marzipan Iceberg, 2008

Ship of Fools photo album, 2008

Single Iceboat, 2008

Three Masked Musicians, 2008

Wenzel Hablik poster, 2008

Woman with Ice Bird, 2008

The Apollo Prophecies

 

The Apollo Prophecies Project has been in development and production since 2002, when it was started at Toni Morrison's Atelier Program at Princeton University. Working with 15 students, Kahn/Selesnick built three major sculptural and architectural installation pieces, The Mind Rocket, Lunar Explorer and the Moon Cabinet.

A revelatory text was created in collaboration with a brilliant physics graduate student, Erez Lieberman. This text was altered by Kahn/Selesnick so that American and Russian Astronauts involved in the 1960's-70's Aquarian lunar expeditions became Gods for the Edwardian expedition members who were waiting for them in their Mind Rocket. Initial props and costumes were drawn and created.

This series features a continuous ten inch by thirty-six foot long black and white panoramic photograph depicting astronauts from the 1960’s traveling to the moon and back. While on the lunar surface they discover a lost Edwardian expedition that may or may not be real. It was shot and assembled on sets or on location with miniature models and live actors.

Kahn & Selesnick explain, "We are using the narrative techniques of Italian fresco cycles of the early Renaissance such as Masaccio’s Brancacci Chapel cycle. The story is told in multiple episodes featuring the same characters, appearing numerous times, within a single long panel. The use of this quasi-religious format echoes the concept of astronauts as gods. In addition to the long panoramic photograph there is a mass installation of small drawings and photographs. These feature Edwardian photographs of moon rocks, schematic drawings and design notes, portraits of astronauts, beaked and “debeaked” i.e. Edwardian and Aquarian, ephemera, etc."


Crash Landing, 2001

Journey Back to Earth, 2001

Journey to the Moon, 2001

Lift- Off, 2001

Lunar Encampment, 2001

Lunar Landing, 2001

Lunar Launch, 2001

Lunar Procession, 2001

Lunar Wanderer, 2001

Radarman, 2001

Winglaunch, 2001

The City of Salt

From The City of Salt, 2001

 

The city of salt now lies quietly on the flats; its formerly bustling alley ways are now destitute, its market places and squares. The construction took many years, but the king never once visited his dream city during this time, choosing to observe its progress from a distance as not to break the illusion that his city was unpeopled. Eventually the city was completed, but still the king waited; many wondered if he had forgotten about it entirely, or had lost interest in the fanciful notions of his youth. Unbeknownst to the general populace however, the king had already left for his city - he had waited for an evening remarkably similar to that evening during the time of the plague, and he had stolen away accompanied only by one faithful servant as a companion, who was to hold the king's horse outside the city gates.

 

It was a fine moonlit night, and the king felt ecstatic as they crossed the salt flats. How his city gleamed in the distance! But at a certain point during this journey, a creeping anxiety began to prey upon the king. Surely The dead city seemed to represent the crumbling of the mighty empire he had inherited and that had been put in his charge; within his swoon he found it hard to remember where its borders lay, whether it had prospered or foundered during his reign. It now seemed to the king that during his solitary night wanderings during the time of the plague he had become enraptured with the face of death

Looking about him, the king realized his companion was nowhere to be seen. More alarmingly, the capital, from which he had come, seemed to exactly resemble the dead city to which he was heading, so much so that Terrified that he might see the twin image of himself, the king attempted to close his eyes, only to find that they already were closed. Opening them, he again saw the dead city before him, now with a waking clarity, the only city that had ever existed - was it his past or future that had been stolen from him - the king wondered. Surely I died during the time of the plague, how vivid the deserted city looked to my dying eyes as I wandered it for the last time, I felt as a king amid the stinking silent alleyways, the beggar thought to himself

 

archival pigment prints
available sizes:
19 x 48 inches   $2500
29 x 83.5 inches   $7500
38 x 116 inches   $9500
 
 

 


Luggage

Tree

Short Gypsie

Suspended

Bicycle

Two Streets

Attack Boar

Wolf

Fox - Underworld

Fox and Gazelle

Trumpeter

Fox Desire Song

Arabians

Liliypads

Lovers

Rockeater

Rider

Caveman

Entangled!

Flapper

Black Sun

Scotlandfuturebog

From Scotlandfuturebog:

 

Every 30 million years, the sun's orbit around the core of the milky way causes the solar system to pass through the spiral arms of the galactic plane; within these arms, in contrast to the emptiness of deep space, lie the vast clouds of loose cosmic matter from which comets are born. Billions of these objects are captured by the sun's gravitational field during its oscillation through the spiral arms, ranging in size from the tiniest dust mote to objects the size of our own moon. In their inert state, between the outgassings that give the comet its distinctive tail, these can be some of the blackest objects in the solar system, reflecting as little as 4 percent of the sun's light. It was during one such period that the apocalypse took place. The collision happened almost without warning, the object having only been detected half an hour before impact. Astronomers at the obscure mountain observatory of ---- elected to say nothing. The comet crashed into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, instantly sending half its volume into the atomsphere as water vapour, drowning those who did not succumb to earthquakes and tsunamis. Most of those who did survive, and they were few, were soon disheartened and died out, much in the way indigenous societies are devastated by the swift destruction of ways of life they have known for millennia. In any case, dense fogs rendered agriculture and hunting almost impossible. The exception were the bog dwellers of remote northern Europe. A hardy people, used to sodden atmospheric conditions and marginal existence, they hardly noticed the apocalypse.


Brotmorgendämmerung, 1999

Gefangentramtier, 1999

Stürmbockeber, 1999

Sumpfinselwurmloch ( Marshislandwormhole ), 2000

Hinterbachen ( Hindquarters ), 2000

Sumpfweissager ( Bogseer ), 2000

Wolletrager ( Woolcarriers ), 2000

Zeltritus ( Tentrites ), 2000

Green Man

The Circular River : The Siberian Expedition 1944 / 46

The Circular River : The Siberian Expedition 1944 / 46 - 1998

 

In late 1942, former glider pilot and REC member Peter Hesselbach was reported missing in action during the Russian offensive that repelled the German Army back across the DnieperRiver. When The Corp's head, Gordon Bindon-Bhore, received the news he immediately assigned a team of psychics to search for Peter using an obscure technique called remote viewing. Several days later, an REC remote viewer named Tyler McWeeks became convinced that Hesselbach was still alive and lost wandering in the vast remote region of Siberia east of the IndigirkaRiver

 

A three man expedition consisting of Bindon MacRupert, Ian Brockman, and Gerrard Wescott was organized to travel to Siberia and attempt to rescue Peter; as a secondary objective they were to study indigenous tribal shamanism. On May 6th, 1944, the expedition was parachuted deep into Siberian tableland with several months worth of supplies, and a considerable quantity of barterable goods. However, by November the expedition, having never correctly gained its bearings, had failed to locate any tribal settlements and was on the verge of succumbing to the harsh Siberian winter

 

At this point the three men were dealt a miraculous stroke of luck - a passing Buryat shaman named Balog discovered the ailing men and single-handedly rescued them, dragging them down to the banks of the circular river where he nursed them back to health using medicinal herbs. Furthermore, he agreed to act as a guide and interpreter for the expedition. For the following nine months, the renewed expedition explored the tribal homeland of the Buryat, studying shamanic traditions and searching for Peter

 

They heard many stories of their friend; he had attained a sort of legendary status with the tribe, as the following entry from Ian Brockman's journal indicates: Peter had come to a village where the natives had never seen white men. Wanting to make a good impression, he had apparently mystified his audience with his miraculous powers. First, with great panache he yanked out his teeth; then to even greater astonishment he pulled out an eye, producing wails and screams from the crowd

 

The Buryat inquired if all white men entertained these skills, and could he please remove his arms and legs. They were obviously unaware of such Western niceties as glass eyes and false teeth. We heard many different versions of the take-apart white devil story. Eventually, the expedition received definitive evidence of Peter's whereabouts from a Buryat family Peter had apparently married into; he had traveled deep into the marshes where the circular river originated to fulfill his destiny, to become a shaman. If the expedition could find the sacred thermal pool known to the Buryat as the "Navel of the World" they would surely find him there, transformed into a God...

 


We Visit A Mountain Top Shrine Built To Honor A Famous Buryat Lama, 1998

A BURNING HEAD., 1998

A Man Who is to Become a Shaman is Buried Up to His Head in the Sand, 1998

A PARACHUTE DROP., 1998

A RUSSIAN SPY IS CAPTURED., 1998

As Our Supplies Dwindle, A Storm Approaches and Forces Us To Take Refuge In The Rocks, 1998

Balog and the White Shaman Prepare Hallucinatory Powder from the Pasternak Root, 1998

Balog Demonstrates The Dance Of Yer Tunigi, 1998

BALOG HUNTING., 1998

PETER HESSELBACH., 1998

PETER HESSELBACH. (continued), 1998

TENDED TO BY THE SHAMAN BALOG, WE REGAIN OUR STRENGTH NEAR THE CIRCULAR RIVER., 1998

The Battle Of The Shamans And The NKVD , 1998

THE SNAKE FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. , 1998

WATERLAND., 1998

WE DISCOVER A BURYAT MAN TIED TO THE GROUND AND RELEASE HIM., 1998

We Encounter A Group Of Russian Scientists Who Claim To Have Unearthed A Mammoth, 1998

WE MEET A FUR TRAPPER., 1998

WE MEET PETER HESSELBACH’S WIFE AND CHILD AT THEIR CAMP. , 1998

WE MEET THE CHIEFTAIN OF THE BURYATS., 1998

WE PHOTOGRAPH A SHAMAN., 1998

We Reach The Frontier Of The Buryat Territory And Discover A Pyramid Of Prayer Flags , 1998

WE RECROSS THE CIRCULAR RIVER AND ENTER THE LAND OF THE BURYATS., 1998

WE TEACH BALOG TO PLAY CRICKET., 1998

Loose 6 x 72 inch Prints from Circular River

Artist Bio

 

 

 

Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn have been collaborating as Kahn/Selesnick since 1988 on a series of complex narrative photo-novellas and sculptural installations. They were both born in 1964, in New York City and London respectively and both are British citizens. They met at Washington University in St Louis where they collaborated informally from 1982-86 as photography majors. After graduation and a couple of years of showing their art separately they migrated to Cape Cod, Massachusetts to work on an evolving series of projects, some painting based, some photo based, all involving fictional attributions, narratives and sculpture. Between 1988 and 1995 they worked on installations combining painted portraits on plaster panels, bread, honey and wax sculptures displayed in wooden ritual architecture. A residency at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown Massachusetts helped them create an elaborate full-scale oaken chapel; Der Ruteloft des Betubten Bienenkaisers (The Rood-Loft of the Drunken Beekeeper) with 120 painted panels, all of heads in profile sprouting psychoactive plants from their mouths.

Tiring of working on painting locked up in a studio, they searched for a technique to better bring the narratives to life and returned to staged photography. Experimenting on Selworthy Beacon in
Somerset, England they found that shooting a 360 degree panorama could more faithfully create a truer, more cinematic sense of the place, while their manipulation of costume, props and period color would help them alter the sense of time. In 1996 their first big show of photographic panoramas, The Flight Series, was set in the Wessex area of Britain
in the mid 1930s. The Royal Excavation Corps story was revealed through museological display cases filled with artifacts, historical documentation and actual photographs from a variety of real expeditions, which merged with the staged and costumed scenarios that were depicted on the heavily folded and inscribed sepia toned panoramas framed on the walls. Floating above the whole show were the two sets of ornithopter wings used by the R.E.C. to fly (with the notable help of hallucinogenic honey to assist in their belief that the flimsy wings might hold them aloft) lending the whole show a verisimilitude more suited for a traveling show of documentary history than the absurdist narratives that were on display.

In 1997 The Pavilion of the Greenman was first shown at the
Decordova Museum just outside of Boston
. This series of shallow focus profile portraits of the artists as Greenmen was shot with an 8 x 10 field camera. These were then displayed as an internally illuminated chapel roofed with leaves and with walled with the 27 glowing silver photographs printed on vellum. When blown up into four foot square silver prints the artists faces masked by the flowers and leaves glued on with honey had a fearsome pagan drama to them; accompanied by fabricated historical documentation of songs and fertility rituals of Somersetshire, they further melted the boundary between man and plant.

In 1998-99 The Circular River, the R.E.C. Siberian Expedition of 1945-46 continued the story of the R.E.C to its post-war conclusion. A seven-foot wide leather bound book held the 60 long sepia panoramas and 100 pages of text. Together they told the parallel stories of Peter Hesselbach, a lost German glider pilot gone native and the R.E.C.’s search for him among the Buryat Shamans of Northeastern Siberia. Objects purportedly loaned by the Novosibirsk Museum of Ethnography accompanied the show. The photographs were laser-color prints on cotton in an edition of five, but had the appearance of vintage folded panoramas, they were painstakingly collaged together by hand, stained and inscribed with the notes from the expedition.

In 2000 Kahn and Selesnick were Artists in Residence, at the Addison Gallery of American Art,
Andover, Massachusetts, where the larger crowd scenes for their post-apocalyptic whiskey-dark epic Scotlandfuturebog were shot. These were digitally combined 4x5 film shot on location on the Isle of Skye, the Beara Peninsula in Ireland along with the bogs of Cape Cod
. The Computer was at last allowed into the studio to aid the artists bringing their future distopia to life. The panoramas were shown first as giclee prints on translucent Gampi rice paper up to 12 feet long and 2 feet high; these had an ephemeral silky materiality that suited their future-historical impossibility. Designed to resemble the artists hand bound version of the project, Aperture Press printed a limited edition boxed book with vellum gatefolds for Scotlandfuturebog, the design of which won the New York Book Show, best photography book of 2002.

In early 2001, a 2-month winter residency at Djerrasi Artist Program in
Woodside, California facilitated the creation of a complex miniature city of salt-encrusted ceramic minarets and stupas that was set up on location in Death Valley for Kahn/Selesnicks next project  City of Salt. Unfolding in the vast deserts and lush oasis of an unnamed orientalist landscape and printed in the out of register tones of an archaic early color process, the stories of greed, oil and spiritual enlightenment echo the uneasy relationships of West and East in this time of perpetual war. The short parables that accompany the photos are a collaboration between Kahn/Selesnick and writers Sarah Falkner and Erez Lieberman. Aperture published City of Salt
as a boxed limited edition monograph in 2005. The prints vary in size from 36” wide to 100” wide and are printed on cream-colored Arches cotton paper as archival digital prints.

An feature article on the artist’s collaboration at Phillips Andover in the New York Times lead to a 2002 semester long residency at Toni Morrison’s Atelier Program at
Princeton University
, allowing the artists to collaborate with the students on the genesis of the next Kahn/Selesnick project The Apollo Prophecies. Taking over 4 years to complete, the project slowly unfurls as an epic panorama telling the plight of a lost Edwardian English expedition to the Moon. One follows the lunar module through the panorama discovering NASA’s hidden story of how a settlement was found awaiting for them on the moon, how they were greeted as Gods, prophesied in great stone alignments, and heralded by a prophetic sacred text, before returning to earth with canisters of Moon Paste as evidence. The entire story is told in one immensely long seamless panorama, 10” high by 50 feet long in one version. It shot for the first time entirely digitally and printed in quad-tone black carbon inks on Hahnemuhle paper. An accordion book edition of the Apollo Prophecies will be forthcoming from Aperture in October 2006 along with a special limited edition boxed set including a DVD of the movie Kahn/Selesnick shot on their version of the moon. The project also features a booklet with reproductions of all the drawings and portraits of the astronauts and lunar artifacts as well as the prophetic text (another collaboration with Erez Lieberman).

Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick
do not employ armies of underpaid assistants, they instead improvise or build everything themselves. They also rely on an army of kind friends and relatives for their photographic models as well as for very frequent gifts of peculiar objects that often infiltrate their projects. They are currently attempting to find a lost iceberg city last seen off of Lubeck in 1923 and shooting an Expedition to Mars for NASA.

 

for more information visit kahnselesnick.com 

And here is the link to their Truppe Fledermaus website:  http://truppefledermaus.tumblr.com/page/10

 

 


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