John Menick: Starring Sigmund Freud
24 Jan – 9 Mar 2014

The video and media art exhibition series in the Darkroom will in 2014 focus on the great unknown, with themes such as the imagination and the mind. The year kicks off with an excellent introduction to the whole theme, Starring Sigmund Freud (2012) by American artist John Menick.

Starring Sigmund Freud
portrays the posthumous motion picture life of psychoanalysis founder Sigmund Freud. Menick has created a film with the running time of 28 minutes, consisting of edited movie and television scenes where the Sigmund Freud character makes an appearance. Beginning in the late 1950s Freud seems to have started a whole new career in the popular culture world. The character isn’t bound by genre or language issues; he appears in dramas as well as in Star Trek episodes. Menick transports Freud between different time levels, places and events, all the way to his deathbed. Even though Freud has continuously been interpreted in different ways as an icon, he has usually, faithful to his own life story, stood out as an impulsive and brilliant intellectual or a temperate, yet unusual scientist from the Victorian age. At times the eternal life of the silver screen Freud comes loose from the historical person of flesh and blood and starts to represent an idea, a concept or a whole discipline. In Menick’s film Montgomery Clift, Max von Sydow, David Suchet and Viggo Mortensen are among the performers portraying the famous ”Herr Doktor.”

Menick’s way of perceiving and viewing art is scholarly, insightful and essayistic. He could very well be called a professional spectator and film enthusiast. In addition to his films and his audio works he has also been actively writing about art since 2002. Starring Sigmund Freud is based on his essay Dream Factory published in 2011 in the Frieze Magazine. The film was produced by the Kadist Foundation and commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13).

John Menick (born 1976) lives and works in New York and his works have been presented in venues such as dOCUMENTA in Kassel, The New Museum and MoMA PS1 in New York and Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Apart from his own artistic work he has also been a visiting professor of film and video in several art and film schools.

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