Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13 The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalyitcal Society

Coney Island is a fantasy, make believe in all senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and the visceral sense of motion. Umberto Eco in his Travels in Hyperreality, Faith in Fakes, notes America's fascination with fabrication and synthetic environments from Coney Island to Disneyland, and all that lies between.

This is the work of Zoe Beloff, artist, in her project, Dreamland: The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and Its Circle, 1926-1972. Dreamland is a collection of documents, drawings, photographs and films, artifacts representing the Society.

In 1909, Sigmund Freud made his only trip to the United States and visited Coney Island. Inspired by Freud and Jung, Beloff notes the Society was formed by one Albert Grass. Working class New Yorkers, over a period of years, recorded and reenacted their dreams, filming them, in an effort to psychoanalyze the American experience. Note another Albert Grass was also a pioneer in electroencephalography at Harvard beginning in the '30's.

Beloff presents the lost films this evening, in person. Films include:
Coney Island by Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle [1917, 16mm, b&w, silent, 25 min.]
The Midget Crane by Albert Grass [1926, 16mm, b&w, silent, 2 min.]
The Praying Mantis by Charmion de Forde [1931,16mm, b&w, sound, 6 min.]
The Bear Dream by Arthur Rosenzweig [1937, 16mm, b&w, silent, 4 min.]
Chasing Louis Schnekowitz by Molly Lippman [1945, 8mm, b&w, silent, 4 min.]
The Lion Dream by Teddy Weisengrund [1947, 16mm, b&w, silent, 3 min.]
The Lonely Chicken Dream by Beverly d’Angelo [1954, 16mm, color, sound, 3 min.]
The Abandoned Ark by Stella Weiss [1958, 16mm, color/ b&w, silent, 4 min.]
My Dream of Dental Irritation by Bobby Beaujolais [1964, 8mm, color, sound, 5 min.]
The Bobsled: A Recurring Dream by Eddie Kammerer [1972, 16mm, color/b&w, sound, 2 min.]

Beloff, Whitney Biennial artist, produces poetic and enigmatic work, similar to Josiah McElheny in calling to question authorship and history in his installation of artifacts from lost Roman glass blowers. While McElheny is cool, Beloff taps history, nostalgia and surrealism.

If you miss the films, Beloff has a book of documentation for the project, with a DVD. Sweet dreams!

Presented by the Cinema Project, with the artist in attendance, www.cinemaproject.org. At the Cinema Project space 11 NW 13th Ave, top floor. Elevator access is provided, please come to the door to request. Leave some extra time to find the space. 7:30PM $6 (cash/check)