It is a little reported fact that in 1875 and again in 1908 Sigmund Freud visited the fairground attractions of Blackpool, writing letters and a postcard back to family and friends. His visit clearly left an impression as in the following year, on his only trip to the United States, he also paid a visit to New York’s Coney Island.
In DREAMLAND artist Zoe Beloff takes Freud’s interest in these sites of fantasy as a starting point to display the history of the Coney Island Psychoanalytic Society and its Circle, a small group of Freud followers – now considered an urban legend.
Through recounting the activities of the society and in particular its founder Albert Grass, Beloff’s work explores the unconscious of two of the world’s great amusement parks – seeing them as overlooked repositories of society’s dreams and desires.
SYMPOSIUM: FREUD IN BLACKPOOL
GRUNDY ART GALLERY
SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER
10 AM ARRIVAL. TALKS BEGIN AT 11AM, FINISH 5.30PM
TICKETS £15/£10 students and jobseekers INCLUDES LUNCH
AVAILABLE VIA THE GRAND THEATRE, BLACKPOOL
- A PERFORMANCE BY ‘MOUTH’ (EDIA CONNOLE AND SCOTT WILSON)
- A READING FROM A NEW PLAY ‘MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS’ BY BLACKPOOL-BASED PLAYWRIGHT DAVID RILEY
The ‘Freud in Blackpool’ symposium coincides with our current exhibition by Zoe Beloff ‘Dreamland: The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and the Blackpool Chapter’. It will be the first of its kind to be staged by the gallery and will explore in greater depth both the exhibition and the history of Freud’s visits to Blackpool, together with an examination of broader themes and questions arising from this relationship between Freud and the fairground. Speakers will also discuss how this unlikely conjunction can be discerned in literature, film and visual arts.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Zoe Beloff was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her work has been shown at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Biennial de l’image, Paris, Galerie Vox, Montreal, and the San Francisco Cinematheque. She has been in the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art and teaches digital media at City College in New York.
Professor Michael Eaton, MBE, is a screenwriter who specialises in docudrama. His work includes ‘Shipman’, ‘Shoot To Kill’ and ‘Who Bombed Lockerbie?’ His fictional work includes ‘Flowers of the Forest’ and the TV series ‘Signs and Wonders’. He had adapted works by George Eliot and Charles Dickens for BBC Radio 4. He is about to stage a new play set in a fairground in Nottingham.
Professor Vanessa Toulmin is Research Director of the National Fairground Archive, Sheffield, a national research facility for the study of folklore, customs and language. She comes from a Lancashire showland family, and completed her PhD researching the social history of travelling showpeople. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal in 1997 for outstanding achievement.
Scott Wilson is Professor in Media and Cultural Studies at Kingston University, London. His research interests include cultural and critical theory, particularly psychoanalysis and the legacy of Georges Bataille. Recent books include: ‘The Order of Joy: Beyond the Cultural Politics of Enjoyment’ and ‘Great Satan’s rage: American negativity and rap / metal in the age of supercapitalism’. He is co-editor of the Journal for Cultural Research and co-editor of The Bataille Reader.
MOUTH is an actionist art project in culinary divinomics formed in March 2012 by Edia Connole and Scott Wilson. Recent events include: Land: A Scarcity Banquet, Prosperity Project, Dublin (2013), The Other North Symposium with Jesse Jones, CCA Derry (2013), ‘Break Bread Open’, FACT, Liverpool Biennial (2012), http://www.mmmouth.wordpress.com
David Riley is a writer, poet and historian based in Blackpool. His play ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’ imagines the recollections of Freud thinking back to his visits to Blackpool, amongst other key moments in the psychoanalyst’s life.