‘Les paris sont ouverts’
Opening 6.30 to 8.30 p.m.
29 June 2011 to 4 September 2011
The Freud Museum
20 Maresfield Gardens
London NW3 5SX
The Freud Museum presents ‘Les paris sont ouverts’, curated by Caroline May, a group exhibition which brings together eight international artists, some of whom are showing for the first time in the UK. All the artists explore sexuality and desire, inclusion and exclusion, repression and trauma in a way that challenges normative thinking and proposes alternative modes of thinking about the self and ‘the other’. The title can be literally translated as ‘the bets are open’, while a looser translation suggests that ‘everything is possible, anything can happen’. The exhibition addresses the idea of openness and possibility in gender and sexuality.
A year ago Sharon Kivland paid her then fifteen-year-old son to copy indexical references to mother-son relations in the works of Sigmund Freud. These he has written in pen and ink on the pages of old French school exercise books, line after line, as though it were a punishment. Writing lines is usually meted out by one in authority in response to misbehaviour, a breaking of a rule. Kivland made the mistake of paying up front — of course this has meant many confrontations about unfinished work and lack of discipline. The last book, the pale pink of which depicts a modern aeroplane, behind which in an oval vignette there is a much earlier model, with the word ‘progrès’ underneath, contains the sentence: ‘Mother, boy’s incestuous feelings for’ (it is from The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, volume 17). Kivland’s son wonders if this is not rather unhealthy; also he feels that he has been underpaid for his laborious work.