Memento Collective Death, Dreams and Desire

Known as the ‘father of psychoanalysis’, Austrian doctor Sigmund Freud changed forever the way we see ourselves. Believing our adult behaviour is driven by repressed childhood experiences of love, loss, sexuality and death, he wrote extensively on these subjects. He practised psychoanalysis with many patients in distress and has left a lasting legacy, particularly with regard to how we understand the ‘unconscious’ mind. Nowadays, many of Freud’s ideas have been replaced with more rational, scientific approaches to human psychology. Within the arts however, the creativity and inventiveness of Freud’s theories continue to fascinate and inspire.

(Freud’s theories had a profound impact on the Surrealist Movement of the early 20th century. They brought his ideas into the public eye and made him more popular than ever. The iconic text, The Interpretation of Dreams (1899) was particularly important to the Surrealists. Freud believed that dreams could reveal hidden meanings about our innermost desires, which were often erotic or sexualised, and this provided a perfect backdrop to some of the most impressive artworks of the movement.)