The Freud Museum

Events Archive

8 October 2017

Wilhem Reich and The Orgone Energy

Artist's Talk and In-Conversation: Annie Ratti and Richard Noble

Artist Annie Ratti will present her latest research on Wilhelm Reich’s investigations into orgone energy and his influence in psychoanalytic treatments of mental illness; developing one aspect of scientific inquiry that might be termed ‘deviant’ or marginal to mainstream science.

Her artistic research into Reich’s theories proceeds from the presumption that a fresh and critical understanding of scientific methods and scientific truth might be achieved by investigating what the scientific community has defined as its other, the unscientific.

Focusing on the processes of knowledge production at the margins of science, her investigation of Reich aims to show the brilliance and strangeness of his work, which while failing to meet the true conditions of the scientific and psychoanalytic communities nonetheless inspired savagely negative reactions from both. She will develop this irony, what it tells about both Reich and his scientific and psychoanalytic criticism; and that in the understanding and insight that were lost in the process of defining his work as non-scientific. The intention is to recover Reich’s insights through the artistic practice, which entails a sympathetic while at the same time critical engagement with his own discoveries.

The artist's 'Orgone Accumulator' pictured will be on display at the Museum on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October.

Annie Ratti lives and works between London and Como. Her trans-disciplinary practice transforms private/personal experience into a shared, public moment. She reflects on contemporary issues/tensions and challenges definitions and preconceived notions of scientific knowledge and privileges position and theories peripheral to institutional thought.

Annie Ratti has exhibited widely, in Italy and overseas, and her works are included in public institutions and collections. She has contributed to the field of recent artistic research by focusing on the margins between art and science in projects such as In Water, I Understand, Venice Biennale Collateral Event (2013), and The Shroom Project, De Kabinetten van de Vleeshal, Middelburg, Holland (2013). Her works such as the”Agua de Beber" (2009) and Tête à tête (1999) are permanently displayed at Whitechapel Gallery, London.

Richard Noble is Professor and Head of the Art Department at Goldsmiths College. He was trained and worked as a political philosopher for many years, before moving into the field of contemporary art. He has written about a number of contemporary artists: including Anni Ratti, Antony Gormley, David Batchelor, Mona Hatoum, Rachel Whiteread among others, and his current research focuses on utopian strategies in contemporary art production and contemporary art education. He is the editor of Utopias (London: Whitechapel/MIT, 2010) and the author of articles on utopian strategies in contemporary art and art education. He has a longstanding interest in Anni Ratti’s work, having co-authored, with Iwona Blazwick, a catalogue essay entitled the “Phenomenology of Play” in 1999.

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