James Putnam
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'Wittgenstein's Dream'- Gavin Turk

curated by James Putnam
Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX
November 26th, 2015- February 7, 2016

Solo exhibition/intervention

The celebrated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose sister was incidentally a patient of Freud claimed that Freud’s views on the interpretation of dreams were completely mistaken. Gavin Turk’s project included a life-size waxwork sculpture of Wittgenstein contemplating an egg. Turk’s ghostly figure of Wittgenstein installed in the hallowed and highly charged domain of Freud’s study set up an intriguing conceptual dialogue between these two enlightened Viennese thinkers. Above Freud’s iconic couch Turk hung a large photograph of billowing smoke that relates to the human tendency to instinctively associate its patterns and forms with something familiar in the same way as we do with dream images. Turk also installed three neon language works ‘Id’ ,‘I’ and ‘Super Ego’on the staircase that relate to Freud’s paper published in 1923, an analytical study of the human psyche,which is of fundamental importance in the development of psychoanalysis. In the dining room he hung a photowork that explores the Narcissus myth, which inspired Freud. Turk echoed Freud’s iconic desk and chair by installing his own version in the first floor exhibition room. As an ironic contrast to Freud’s beloved antiquities, Turk arranged his own personal collection of intriguing, talismanic objects and keepsakes that relate to his artistic practice. The display was annotated with a museum style key describing each object. The exhibition opening included a performance with a Freud doppelgänger having fallen asleep at his own desk.




'[ξ, N(ξ)]’(η) (= [η, ξ, N(ξ)])'-Waxwork-Installation in study

'Totem', photowork, 20013

'The Metamorphosis of 'Narcissuss'- photowork,.2011

'I' (Neon), 2015

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