Podcast: Wittgenstein’s Dream

Gavin Turk in conversation with Joseph Kosuth, moderated by James Putnam

‘‘We are asleep. Our life is like a dream. But in our better hours we wake up just enough to realise that we are dreaming.’ – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Gavin Turk’s installation and intervention in Freud’s former residence, Wittgenstein’s Dream, investigates the intriguing conceptual dialogue between two enlightened Viennese thinkers of the 20th century, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951).

Gavin Turk was born 1967 in Guildford, from 1989-91 he attended the Royal College of Art. For his MA exhibition show Cave, Turk notoriously presented a whitewashed studio space containing only a blue heritage plaque commemorating his presence. Though refused a degree, his subsequent infamy attracted the attention of Charles Saatchi and Turk became part of a loosely associated group known as the ‘Young British Artists’ (YBAs). He has continued to show worldwide and has work in many national museum collections (including Tate and MOMA). His work often deals with concerns of authority and identity and has taken up many forms including the painted bronze, the waxwork, the recycled art-historical icon and the use of litter.

Joseph Kosuth is one of the pioneers of Conceptual art and installation art, initiating language-based works and appropriation strategies in the 1960s. His work has consistently explored the production and role of language and meaning within art. The philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, among others, influenced the development of his work. Kosuth’s installation Zero & Not was exhibited at Berggasse 19 – The Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, marking the centennial of Sigmund Freud’s birth. In its artistic and curatorial approach the installation drew on his seminal exhibition projects Wittgenstein – Das Spiel des Unsagbaren at the Vienna Secession (1989) in Austria and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.

Wittgenstein’s Dream is the latest in the critically acclaimed ongoing series of Freud Museum London exhibitions curated by James Putnam that have included projects by Sophie Calle, Sarah Lucas, Ellen Gallagher, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Mat Collishaw and Miroslaw Balka.

Wittgenstein’s Dream is on display at The Freud Museum London 26 November 2015 – 7 February 2016

In association with Ben Brown Fine Arts.

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