March 14, 2016
Autobiographical Fiction: Encountering Anna Freud and Melanie Klein Inside the Freud Museum
Unravel These Knots
The most intimate aspects of the human subject are unconscious. This symposium examines the ways in which this material becomes the basis for contemporary art, critical writing and the dynamics of the consulting room. The speakers will provide a number of perspectives on the relationship between gender, the unconscious and intimacy. As well as first hand accounts from contemporary artists there will be a new reading of Marlene Dumas’ intimate art practice. The psychoanalytic process of ‘patient presentation’ will be examined, as well as how the process of being in analysis becomes inadvertently manifest when artists exhibit their work in the Freud Museum.
This symposium is hosted in collaboration with the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design research project Intimacy Unguarded, which examines the personal as material in contemporary art and writing.
Joanne Morra - Autobiographical Fiction: Encountering Anna Freud and Melanie Klein Inside the Freud Museum
In 1989 the Freud Museum London hosted its first contemporary art exhibition. There have been over 75 shows since then. Having art inside the Freud Museum is a form of ‘site-responsivity’, wherein the artwork and site respond to and activate one another in unexpected ways. One of the most interesting forms of site-responsive art in the context of the Freud Museum is work that gestures towards the autobiographical. Eliciting a form of ‘autobiographical fiction’, such intimate (fictional) moments exposed by the artist through the artwork become re-framed. The artist and artwork enter a psychoanalytic setting. In doing so, the artistic interventions provide us with some fundamental moments within psychoanalytic practice. This talk considers two exhibitions that, intriguingly, turn away from Sigmund Freud and move towards two female analysts. Alice Anderson’s work and exhibition relies on the process of repetition as a means of ‘fictionalizing’ and letting go of childhood anxieties. While, the curation of the Louise Bourgeois show, and the work included in it produces a form of Kleinian acting out.
Joanne Morra is Reader in Art History and Theory at Central Saint Martins. She has published widely on modern and contemporary art. One of her main interests has been in understanding the potential alliances between singular spaces of practice and what occurs within them – the studio, the study, the gallery/museum, and the consulting room. Her forthcoming book is Inside the Freud Museums: History, Memory and Site-Responsive Art (I.B. Tauris, 2016). She is the co-organiser with Emma Talbot of the research project Intimacy Unguarded.
Emma Talbot - Unravel These Knots
‘Unravel These Knots’, a one-person exhibition by Emma Talbot at The Freud Museum London, runs concurrently with this Intimacy Unguarded event. Using the same title, this paper will discuss the work in the exhibition, in terms of the process of thinking, making and installation. Talbot will explore the underlying themes of autobiography, psychological representation and non-linear narratives that form the basis her work. She will open out the context for the work in relation to two of Freud’s studies The Interpretation of Dreams and Screen Memories as well as other key references and will discuss the ways these texts informed her practice.
Emma Talbot is an artist based in London. Her work is featured in two recent Thames and Hudson publications 100 Painters Of Tomorrow and Drawing People. Recent one-person exhibitions include Step Inside Love at Domobaal London, and Memories Turn To Dusk at Petra Rinck Galerie, Dusseldorf. Her work is included in the forthcoming Comic Tragics at The Art Gallery Of Western Australia. She is represented by DomoBaal, London and Petra Rinck Galerie, Dusseldorf. Emma is a Senior Lecturer at CSM and co-organiser (with Dr Joanne Morra) of the research project Intimacy Unguarded.