Paul Swenbeck – Dor and Oranur

at Fleisher/Ollman Gallery

through February 18

by Jeffrey Bussmann


At the opening reception for Paul Swenbeck’s Dor and Oranur I was immediately drawn to the two hanging wire-form pieces in the show. Swenbeck invited me into his studio for a demonstration of how he makes them, which he sees as the potential beginning of a new body of work. He joked that making a video was akin to producing a cooking show. After some reflection, I found the comparison apt. There are currents of magic and witchcraft that run through Swenbeck’s work; he let me into his process, part chemistry and part conjuration.



I also spoke with Swenbeck about his previous Mandragora and Starsprout series, and how they relate to the current show. The element of the supernatural still holds sway in Dor and Oranur, but he has delved deeply into a delectable triad of paleontology, psychoanalysis, and science fiction.



Jeffrey Bussmann works at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is currently researching Brazilian cultural organizations for his master’s thesis in Arts Administration at Drexel University.  He also writes for his blog Post-Nonprofalyptic.