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The Freud Museum presents “The Portrait of Jean Genet” video installation

June 12, 2015

Disinformation - Portrait of Jean Genet

As part of the “Festival of the Unconscious” exhibition, the Freud Museum presents “The Portrait of Jean Genet” by Disinformation. “The Portrait of Jean Genet” is a potentially infinite sound and video installation, based on the final interview given by the French burglar, prostitute and playwright Jean Genet, shortly before Genet’s own death. As a vivid articulation of the psychoanalytic concepts of Eros and Thanatos, Genet mishears the interviewer Nigel Williams, asking “Vous avez dit, L’Amour?” (“Did you say… Love”), because “J’ai entendu La Mort” (“I heard… Death”). In terms of “Rorschach Audio” type mishearings, the terms “L’Amour” and “La Mort” sound essentially identical, and are disambiguated by understanding their use in context. “The Portrait of Jean Genet” draws an analogy between the way in which listeners disambiguate perceptions of so-called “homophonic” sounds, and the way viewers project contradictory interpretations onto ambiguous visual figures, such as the spontaneously-reversing cube discovered by the Swiss crystallographer and geographer Louis Albert Necker.

“The Portrait of Jean Genet” is based on a static artwork of the same name, that was first published on the Flickr website in 2011, and then re-published in the book “Rorschach Audio” in 2012. “The Portrait of Jean Genet” video has been screened at PoetryFilm events at The ICA (London, 2014) & CCCB (Barcelona, 2015), and is exhibited with thanks to Zata Banks, Alex Hammond and James Register, to The Arts & Humanities Research Council, to Claire Craig and MOT International.

The “Festival of the Unconscious” exhibition also features “The Analysis of Beauty” and “Theophany” by Disinformation. “The Analysis of Beauty” is an oscilloscope exhibit which explores the artist William Hogarth’s concept of the Serpentine Line, and “Theophany” (The Voice of God) is an electromagnetic sound installation which lasts for exactly 0.083 seconds. The exhibition also features work by artist Julian Rothenstein (co-author of the best-selling “Psychobox”), “The Dream Collector” by artist Melanie Manchot, exhibits by Brass Art (featuring Monty Adkins), Sarah Ainslie and Martin Bladh, newly commissioned films by animators from Kingston University, an installation by stage designers from The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, “The Unconscious Project” by practitioners from the MA Art Psychotherapy course at Goldsmiths College, performances by the artist Lili Spain and by poet Reveal, and a major conference with keynote speaker the psychoanalyst and neurosurgeon Mark Solms.

The Festival of the Unconscious
24 June to 4 October 2015
The Freud Museum
20 Maresfield Gardens
London NW3 5SX

http://www.freud.org.uk/exhibitions/75927/the-unconscious-revisited-at-the-freud-museum/

A “Rorschach Audio” lecture-demonstration also follows at The Freud Museum on July 23 – http://www.freud.org.uk/events/75970/rorschach-audio/

Many thanks to everyone who came to the capacity shows in Melbourne – apologies to those who couldn’t get in, and special thanks to Joel Stern, Liquid Architecture and Gertrude Contemporary, and to Francis Parker and all at MUMA Melbourne.

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