Monday, 2 November 2009

Exhibit at the Freud Museum


7 October - 13 December

Curated by James Putnam

is an extraordinary exhibition of new works by British-born artist Mat Collishaw. The title relates to the print above Freud’s iconic psychoanalytic couch, depicting the French neurologist Jean Martin Charcot showing his students a woman in a hysterical fit. Charcot (1825-1893) used hypnotism to study hysteria and other abnormal mental conditions and he had a profound influence on the young Freud. Collishaw has made a new anamorphosis work inspired by this picture and a series of ghostly projections based on Charcot’s original photographic case studies.

In the room of Anna Freud, the founder of child psychoanalysis, he has installed a new zoetrope sculpture with animated figures of implike boys smashing eggs, spearing snails and tormenting butterflies. Both Freud and his daughter Anna investigated the development of cruelty in childhood, and its link to sexuality in children’s ‘beating phantasies’.

In Freud’s study Collishaw has installed a series of intriguing tree stump sculptures that incorporate record decks emitting evocative birdsongs. The ‘outside world’ enters Freud’s study, and in doing so alludes to theories of repression, loss and the nature of memory developed by Freud himself. The exhibition is completed by the enormous, beautiful and ultimately disturbing ‘insecticide’ photographs in the stairwell and balcony.

Mat Collishaw (b. Nottingham, 1966) lives and works in London and has exhibited widely internationally. In 1986-7 he attended Goldsmiths College alongside Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin, among others, participating in the now legendary shows Freeze (1989) and Sensation (1997). Collishaw has developed a distinctive practice using digitally modified photography and video often combining 19th century illusionistic devices with contemporary technologies. His work is characterized by appropriating imagery that is often shocking yet strangely beautiful.

HYSTERIA is the latest in the critically acclaimed ongoing series of Freud Museum exhibitions curated by James Putnam that have included projects by Sophie Calle, Sarah Lucas, Ellen Gallagher, Tim Noble & Sue Webster and Oliver Clegg. The exhibition also coincides with the launch of Collishaw’s new publication entitled ‘Insecticides’.

Freud Museum
20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX
Tel: +44 (0)20 7435 2002

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