The Freud Museum

Events Archive

1 September 2015

Performing the Unconscious

An evening of performance with artists Shaun Caton and Quilla Constance

Join us for an evening of performance inspired by The Festival of the Unconscious, featuring artists, Shaun Caton and Quilla Constance.

‘PRECIPICE RECIPE’ is a new performance formulated specially for the Freud Museum’s dining room and uses Sigmund Freud’s dining table to present a miniature wunderkammer – or cabinet of curiosities – of curious artifacts found in or near the river Thames. In something akin to the guise of a shaman Caton interacts with these objects, creating fabulous projections and breath-taking moments of surreal paradox. As both curator and creator in his own dream-like museum within a museum, he reveals and conceals a series of fractured, apocalyptic stories inside stories evinced in bold and disturbing images - not words. This multi-dimensional performance is an opportunity for people to experience Caton’s immersive world of stratified culture and ritual in a museum setting.

Jennifer Allen (as Quilla Constance) will give a performative lecture on Freud's theory of the unconscious, automatism and jouissance, with reference to texts by Jacques Lacan, Bruce Fink, and Rosi Braidotti. To follow, Allen will screen a bespoke re-edit of her recent arts council commissioned video work 'PUKIJAM'. The piece sees Quilla Constance perform a sub-linguistic vocal scat intercut with 'exotic' scenes from her painting studio, and a hypnotic Rorschach test inspired montage of objects. The video will be interspersed with a live, automatic Cello fugue.


British performance artist and painter, Shaun Caton, has presented over 300 performances since the early 1980’s, working in many galleries, museums, festivals of live art and unusual locations and sites worldwide. His performances are richly layered visual events, densely interwoven with multiple meanings to present the viewer with an overwhelming and kaleidoscopic fusion of drawing, shadow play, installation and primordial action. Unique in the world of performance, Caton has developed his own highly original expressionistic genre of performance art that bristles with psychological intensity, taking inspiration from dreams, shamanism, the strange cult of found objects and primitive/ prehistoric art.

‘neo noir psychological horror’ Exeunt Magazine

‘genuinely terrifying’ The Scotsman

Quilla Constance, 'QC', is the creation of artist Jennifer Allen. QC over-identifies with an ‘exotic’ militant punk persona to interrogate a category-driven capitalist network.

QC stages and virally inserts her artistic practice within pop culture, traversing music venues, forging protests and entering art galleries in order to emulate and interrupt the operations of these cultural zones.

QC formulates interventions across a multi-disciplinary output of paintings, lectures, photographs, costumes, live performances and music videos.

Jennifer Allen aka Quilla Constance graduated from The Ruskin School of Art, St John's College, University of Oxford with a BA in Fine Art (2001) and Goldsmiths College, University of London with an MFA (2006).

Part of an exciting season of talks, events and conferences accompanying the exhibition ‘The Festival of the Unconscious’ 24 June- 4 October 2015.



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