17/08/2013 — 2/11/2013


The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society

and the Blackpool Chapter

It is a little reported fact that in 1875 and again in 1908 Sigmund Freud visited the fairground attractions of Blackpool, writing letters and a postcard back to family and friends. His visit clearly left an impression, as in the following year, on his only trip to the United States in 1909, he also paid a visit to New York’s Coney Island.

In DREAMLAND artist Zoe Beloff takes Freud’s interest in these sites of fantasy as a starting point to display the history of the Coney Island Psychoanalytic Society and its Circle, a small group of Freud followers – now considered an urban legend.

DREAMLAND was first presented at the Coney Island Museum in 2009 and has since toured throughout Europe. For this showing in Blackpool, the artist presents previously unseen material relating to Freud’s visit to the town.

Beloff will fill the Grundy’s galleries with drawings, photographs, artefacts and short films purportedly made by members of a previously unknown group of vocational Freudians, founded by a man named Albert Grass in the 1920s. Through recounting the activities of the society and in particular its founder Albert Grass, Beloff’s work explores the unconscious of two of the world’s great amusement parks – seeing them as overlooked repositories of society’s dreams and desires.

The exhibition continues until 2nd November when Grundy will host 'Freud In Blackpool'; a day-long symposium - the first of its kind to be staged by the gallery - which will explore in greater depth both the exhibition and the history of Freud's visits to Blackpool, together with an examination of broader themes and questions arising from this relationship between Freud and the fairground. Speakers will also discuss how this unlikely conjunction can be discerned in literature, film and visual arts.