'Andy Hope 1930 at the Freud ' - Andreas Hofer
curated by James Putnam
The Freud Museum, London
February - May 2010
Andreas Hofer created a new series of works for Sigmund Freud's house that included paintins,collages, sculptures and site-specific installations.
The exhibition's title relates to the name and date Hofer often signs his work. The name is a kind of alter ego while 1930 is a significant date since it marked the major economic and political crisis in 20th century Europe and in the shift in the history of modern art with its avant-garde movements. That same year Sigmund Freud was living in Vienna, where the Nazi party was gaining power and becoming more threatening and wrote the book, 'Civilization and Its Discontents'. This argues that violence is inherent in human nature, what Freud calls "the inclination towards agression". After Hitler invaded Austria, freud and his family, who were Jewish, witnessed violent anti-Semitism and eventually fled to London in 1938.
Much of Hofer's highly original iconography has its roots in comics and science fiction and by coincidence Superman first appeared in the very same month Freud came to live in London, published in Action Comics, No.1, June 1938. For the Freud Museum Hofer created an intriguing series of Andy Hope masks and superheroes' capes.He also juxtaposed some of his extensive collection of science fiction figures with Freud's collection of antiquities. There are facinating parallels between the superheroes and their potential archetypes represented by Freud's statuettes of ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman deities.
Like the god like Superman, the ancient Sumerian hero Gilgamesh and Heracles, the ancient Greek demigod, help a weaker human race with teir amazing strength and powers.
In Freud?s celebrated study, Hofer hung a series of ?Monty? portraits inspired by John Huston?s 1962 film ?Freud -The Secret Passion?. The protagonist was the Hollywood actor Montgomery Clift, whose own life was ironically plagued by mental problems. This movie depicts Freud's life from 1885 to 1890 and tells the story of the treatment by hypnosis of an hysterical patient, Cecily, by the young Freud, who struggles to bring her into awareness of the sexual origins of her problems. Freud first developed his theories in clinical work with women who were deeply troubled by fears, anxiety, and painful emotional memories. With this in mind, Hofer installed on the staircase several paintings from his ?Sweet Troubled Souls? series - powerful, expressive and disquieting portraits of women carefully lit to create a ghostly ambience. Hofer has also been inspired by Freud's famous essay on Leonardo (1910), which had its centenary in 2010 and created an installation and some new works that included an intriguing collage depicting Leonardo as Spiderman.
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