The Freud Museum

Events Archive

18 November 2009
7pm - 8:30

The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and their Circle 1926-1972

An illustrated lecture and screening by Zoe Beloff

To celebrate the centennial of Freud’s visit to the great amusement parks of Coney Island, prior to his visit to Clark University in 1909, artist Zoe Beloff resurrected the forgotten world of the Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society, along with the visionary ideas of its founder Albert Grass, for an exhibition at the Coney Island Museum in New York.

Here she will present an overview of the work of the Society, which might best be described as an urban legend. The members, working people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, were filled with the desire to participate in one of the great intellectual movements of the 20th century. Beloff will discuss the Sunday lectures, plans to rebuild the “Dreamland Amusement Park” according to Freud’s ideas of dream formation, the controversy over the lost "Sigmund Freud" figure at the World in Wax Musée and will screen a number of the “Dream Films” in which members of the society recreated their dreams on film in an unapologetic and playful exploration of their inner lives.

Zoe Beloff is an artist who is particularly fascinated by attempts to graphically manifest the unconscious processes of the mind. She is particularly adept at dreaming her way into the past. Zoe’s work has been exhibited internationally. Venues include: The Whitney Museum, MoMA, The Freud Dream Museum (St Petersburg), Pacific Film Archives and the Pompidou Center.

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