TRANSLATING FREUD 1. Outside room 272 Jaspar Joseph-Lester ‘Shaft’, 2004 Video stills, 4:30 mins. ’Shaft’ moves through a number of different Department stores in London and New York: Tiffany’s 2nd Floor Bloomingdales 8th Floor Liberty’s 3rd Floor Dickens and Jones Lower Ground Debenhams 5th Floor John Lewis 3rd Floor Bloomingdales Ground Flour Bloomingdales 2nd Floor Liberty’s Ground Floor Liberty’s 4th Floor Asprey’s Ground Floor Asprey’s 1st Floor Bloomingdales Lower Ground The opening and closing of the doors are used as an editing device so that the only indication of the site is from the conversations that take place in the lift. 2. Glass walls of room 269 Sharon Kivland ‘Transcript’, 2006 Vinyl lettering: Caslon, Garamond, Walbaum In the third edition of The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud adds the observation: ‘It is impossible to translate a dream into a foreign language’ (1900, p.99, n.1). In a letter of 13 th April 1911, to Samuel Jankelévitch, he remarks that his dream book seems to him to be untranslatable because of its dream texts, and if a translation were to be done, he feels it would probably scare French people away from further reading. ‘Transcript is part of Kivland’s project of impossible interpretation and translation, taking texts à la lettre and avant la lettre. 3. Room 269 Lucy Harrison ‘Shadows; Jonathan Miles, Lecture Theatre One, Royal College of Art, November 1997' (1999) Slides, slide projector and timer Lucy Harrison’s work uses collections of texts which have been forgotten or ignored- the hesitations in a lecture or the notes made in the margins of a library book; language ephemera which, in the normal course of events we barely notice. By giving significance to words which most people discard, the work questions the meaning and importance of those texts usually thought to be reliable. The work speaks about the gaps in-between coded presentations and texts and deals with the edges of experience around the subject of focus. 4. Room 269, from 6.30 p.m. Forbes Morlock and Sarah Wood Reading Group What is the secret of reading? What does it have to do with psychoanalysis? What does it have to do with art? Sessions at 6:30, 6:50 and 7:10. 5. Lobby. Simon Morris ‘Re-writing Freud’, 2005 Simon Morris has worked with the creative technologist Christine Morris to re-write Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams. Freud's Interpretation of Dreams is fed into a computer programme (designed by Christine Morris). The programme randomly selects words one at a time from Freud's text and begins to reconstruct the entire book, word by word, making a new book with the same words. The work is displayed as a wall-mounted, touch screen computer with attached printer. As the text is randomly re-written, it can be re-printed and published. The programme uses algorithms to carry out the processing of Freud's 223,704 word text. By subjecting Freud's words to a random redistribution, meaning is turned into non-meaning and the spectator is put to work to make sense of the new poetic juxtapositions. The world of dreams is subject to the laws of the irrational and ‘Rewriting Freud’ gives the spectator the chance to view Freud's text in its primal state. 6. Room 273 Bill Furlong ‘Uhms and Aghs’, 1986 1-channel sound installation, 1 loud speaker Made from the removal of pauses for thinking from recorded interviews, this sound work consists of an endless litany of uhms and aghs uttered by a number of people in the course of street and Audio Arts interviews. Fragments of speech are assembled, not to convey a clearly defined meaning, but rather to create, as the artist remarks, ‘a succinct audio equivalent to thought outside language’. The work highlights the way in which Furlong employs the voice as a primary medium, manipulating sound as material matter through the post-production of the studio. 7. Room 274 Mark Lewis ‘Two Impossible Films’ (The Story of Psychoanalysis), 1995-1997 35 mm film transferred to DVD, 28 mins. Mark Lewis takes as his subject the history of films never realized: Sergei Eistenstein's plan to adapt Das Kapital by Karl Marx for the screen, and Samuel Goldwyn's idea to have Sigmund Freud write a screenplay for a psychoanalytic love story. 8. Room 275, 6.00- 6.30 p.m. Marta Csabai ‘Psycho-soma études’ DV transferred to DVD, 25 mins. Text: Marta Csabai and Anna Borgos Image: Marta Csabai and Anna Borgos Choreography: Katalin Szili and Lucia Moukhtar The performance was conceived as series of nineteen short études, with verbal, visual and movement (sound) messages in each of them. The études tell the story of hysteria and psychoanalytic psychosomatics from the early days of the ’golden age’ in Charcot's clinic at La Salpétrière, through the hopes and frustrations of Sigmund Freud, up to the point where not only hysteria disappeared from the diagnostic classifications but the problem of bodily expressions has been elided. A text is read like a scientific lecture while there is a slide show going on, together with choreographied scenes (études) of dance/movement presented by three dancers. The text is composed of different writings, from classical and contemporary authors, and case studies and clinical records from the early twentieth century. The slide-show is based on different original photos of hysteria, paintings (e.g. those of Paul Delvaux), feminist posters, contemporary photos, etc. The dance scenes were choreographied using a detailed movement analysis by the method of the founder of dance therapy, Rudolph Laban, of the original drawings of hysterical positions in the Iconographie de la Salpétrière. The presentation is a specific combination of a dance theatre performance and a lecture; verbal and non-verbal contents; scientific messages and artistic elaborations. 9. Room 275, 6.45 – 7.30 p.m. Polly Gould ‘Libraries and Landscape; or What is it that I have lost?’, 2006 Narrative performance As with Gould’s other performances, this piece is concerned with the construction of narratives and the dynamic set up in a live-performance between the speaker and the audience. This mirrors themes in the work of speaking and listening and reflects upon the Freudian psychoanalysis as a ‘talking cure’ that turns symptoms into stories. Libraries and Landscape or What is it that I have Lost? is structured around the im/possibility of finding a lost loved person through the reading of their inherited library. Gould invites the audience to sort through boxes of old photos, old letters, fragments of type-written text, clippings from newspapers, binoculars, scissors and books, as she takes on the task of ‘reading oneself backwards’. The performance is presented as a monologue, but at points the story is taken up by the recorded voice of absent characters and the sounds of other times and other places. The question of translation is approached through the dislocation of memory from its origin, as well as through learning to speak French and the childhood acquisition of language. 10. Room 276 Frances Hegarty ‘Auto-portrait # 1’, 1999 Video projection with stereo sound Video/sound: 4:20 mins for continuous loop playback Video: PAL DVD ‘She wasn't used to being recognized. She was recognized in certain situations but only rarely and it made her feel that someone was taking measurements of her body in a small mirrored room. She tended to be unseen except by friends. She was mostly invisible, humanly invisible to people in the market down the street and not just youngsters hurrying past a hazy shape in the aisles, the unfocused stuff of middle age, but people in general - okay, men in general - who gave her generic status at best. ...' Description of Klara Sax, artist, from Don DeLillo, Underworld, London: Picador 1997, p.373 11. Lobby 2 David Bate ‘Bungled Memories’, 2005 C-type photographs David Bate photographs domestic objects accidentally broken by him in his kitchen. He elevates these ‘bungled actions’ to extravagant still life compositions, which begin to resonate in a private and public aesthetics of memory and forgetting. The humble still life genre is put to work with the emotions involved in a broken object. Bate draws on Denis Diderot’s famous concept of the tableau and his praise for the then highly popular moral drama paintings by Jean-Baptiste Greuze. Invoking questions about lost memories and enjoyment of sentimental images, the ‘significant moment’ of a political drama or personal story is abstracted to a still life, left as a mere fragment of the ‘event’, with the viewer’s imagination left to do the rest of the work. 12. Room 277 Phoebe Von Held Video installation based on the ‘D'Alembert's Dream Project' 2 videos (3 and 12 minutes): one projected and the other shown on 4 computer monitors on continuous loop playback. Von Held will show a work-in-progress adaptation of Diderot's D'Alembert's Dream. The abridgement involves technically the transfer into the medium of animation, and conceptually the construction of a two-way echo in which contemporary scientists respond to the speculative visions of eighteenthcentury materialist philosophers. Diderot's reference to the notion of the dream — as aesthetic metaphor and as a state of mind — offers an interesting mixture of connotations that partly anticipate the Freudian paradigm and partly belong to a clearly pre-psychoanalytic era. As literary metaphor, the dream stands for the possibility of announcing a speculative scientific system that still lacks provability, a system that can only be announced in an oracular form through the visionary yet peremptory dream-talking of the physicist D’Alembert. The dream as a framework for Diderot’s philosophy is also best suited for the transformist pre-Darwinian aspects implied in Enlightenment materialism. One of the sons of the Greek god of sleep was named Morphus. In the same way in which dreaming presents us with a world in which subjects and objects can fluidly transform from one state to another, Diderot’s concept of nature suggested a ‘morphous’ relation between the different species. This is a world in flux, where local and individual distinctness is overridden by a law of movement at the level of the cosmic whole. Every object is more or less another. Loss of individuality is always imminent, a theory which Diderot also illustrates on his former co-editor of the Encyclopédie, D’Alembert. Whilst awake and conscious the skeptical D’Alembert can object to - or repress - Diderot’s philosophical suggestions. In his sleep, D’Alembert is taken over by his unconscious and becomes subject to a ventriloquial elaboration of Diderot’s ideas. At the centre of D'Alembert's Dream is also D'Alembert's wet dream, gesturing at a concept of mind or subjectivity in which the body’s organic/energetic constitution has turned the mind into a puppet on strings. 13. Corridors Liz Pavey ‘Memorabilia’ (2004, 2006) An improvised performance in which Liz Pavey shares memories of her life as a dancer/mover from early childhood to present day; memories remembered, captured, ingrained, forgotten, imagined, reconstructed, through her body and on film. Exploring the relation between movement, memories and the construction of personal identity, she improvises, performs snippets from past choreographies and invites you to move and dance with her.