Onania is an infected universe that has been accumulating character and detail since Jan Manski’s MA at Central Saint Martins in 2010. Onania’s development has been unrelentingly pervasive of Manski’s practice, appropriate to its nature as a diseased scourge.
Manski’s meticulous and total attention to minute detail has borne a product encased in the methodologies of this eminently inviting and hostile environment. Onania hosts an alternate reality and fertile breeding ground for mankind’s most despicable modern habits. Narcissism bred from frantic consumer culture is shown at its most destructive, with Onania’s inhabitants seeking its prime offering – unadulterated and uninterrupted pleasure.
The Onanizer – Your Ultimate Masturbation Experience is at the root of Onania. Designed to mould seamlessly to the user’s body, the ‘limitless pleasure’ machine invites its users to a realm of singular focus on themselves. Sophisticated advertising tricks are played on our atavistic compulsions of fulfilling basic instincts. Such sinister manipulation hovers beneath a seamless pastel veneer, pivoting on our powerlessness
and ignorance of Manski’s role as puppet master.The Onanizer reflects the ultimate aim of Onania, which is the most perfect and heightened existence of blissful solitude.
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.