Friday, 25 January 2013

Zoe Beloff: A History of Dreams Remains to be Written

Talbot Rice, Gallery, Edinburgh, until February 16th
5 stars
Libido and revolution are not so strange bedfellows in New York-based
Edinburgh ex-pat Beloff's first solo show in Scotland, in which
imaginary worlds collide in two complimentary takes on utopia. In
Dreamland, Beloff mines the archive of the Coney Island Psychoanalytic
Society and Its Circle, reimagining its founder Albert Grass'
extravagant vision of a Freud-inspired theme-park for the mind that the
Brooklyn-based fun palace could have become if its own pleasure
principle had been unleashed. Beyond comic books and assorted ephemera,
films of the Society's members dreams are shown, while a model of
Grass' proposed design incorporating a giant figure of a young girl as
Libido is at its centre.

Upstairs, The Days of the Commune finds Beloff putting Days of the Commune, Bertolt Brecht's
1948 play about the Paris Commune on the streets and in the moment via
a series of filmed stagings involving a non-professional public that
included supporters of the Wall Street Occupy movement. Both sections
are glorious flipsides of a counter-cultural dream-state Shangri-la
that both reclaims hidden histories and looks to brighter possible
futures in what really is another world.

The List, January 2013

ends

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