Saturday, April 11, 2009

Madness and Modernity at the Wellcome Trust

I couldn't resist visiting the "Madness and Modernity" exhibit just down the street from where I live. It is quite interesting and very well curated. I'll be adding to this posting.

Sunday evening. The exhibit starts (almost literally) in a Viennese Insane Asylum. We join the inmates on circumscribed walks through an intense video reenactment. Thence, to two remarkably well laid out refuges for the insane, or different. The exhibit asks again, directly and insistently, what is it to be insane (or be be considered insane)?

Two themes emerge: the attempt through mechanical devices to create order and harmony in the lives of the disturbed and Freud's own my laid back approach in which he abandons physiology for a "mental" cure. This brings back memories of Jeff Masson's own assault on Freud for leaving actual memories for possible fantasies.

1 comment:

  1. As Freud said of paranoid Judge Schreber, whose dad had strapped him into weird posture devices, "The patient "suffers from reminiscences."