Reuben Mednikoff "The Flying Pig, September 10, 1936" Oil on board, Private Collection
Responses to fascism in psychoanalysis, surrealism and modernism.
This symposium explores the relationship between creativity, psychic life and politics in the first half of the twentieth century. It includes papers on how psychoanalytic theory was used to diagnose the extraordinary hatred that accompanied the rise of fascism in the 1930s, and on how modernist and surrealist techniques were marshalled to the task of finding ways of preventing it.
Modernist and surrealist writing that both resisted and promoted fascist ideology will be examined, and questions will be asked about how responses to political hatred in the 1930s bear upon discussions of today’s political contexts.
The symposium will conclude with a tour of the exhibition, ‘A Tale of Mother’s Bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff and the Birth of Psychorealism’. The work of Pailthorpe and Mednikoff brings together many of the themes of the day: they developed a method combining psychoanalytic theory with surrealist art and writing, which they believed would provide society with a cure for what they called ‘the virus of hate’.
The history of the venue, the De La Warr Pavilion, resonates with both the exhibition and the symposium. It was co-designed by German Jewish architect Erich Mendelsohn, who fled Nazi Germany in 1933, and was commissioned to build the Pavilion with Serge Chermayeff in 1934. Their work was completed in 1935, the year that Pailthorpe and Mednikoff met.
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For more on the symposium click here
This symposium has been organised by the Centre for Modernist Studies at the University of Sussex in partnership with the De La Warr Pavilion; it has also been supported by the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research.
Tea and coffee will be provided.
10.30 – 10.45am Welcome
Hope Wolf, introducing the exhibition, ‘A Tale of Mother’s Bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff and the Birth of Psychorealism’
Helen Tyson, introducing the conference, ‘Virus of Hate: Responses to Fascism in Psychoanalysis, Surrealism and Modernism’
Rosie Cooper, introducing the venue, the De La Warr Pavilion
10.45 – 11.50am The Origins Of Hate
Chair: Helen Tyson
Sally Alexander, ‘Hate in the inner world: D. W. Winnicott’s work with mothers and infants in the 1930s – 60s’
Shaul Bar-Haim, ‘On weaning: fascism and the politics of the breast in 1930s psychoanalysis’
Nidesh Lawtoo, ‘Contagious Pathologies: From Modernism to (New) Fascism’
[20 minute break]
12.10 – 1.30pm What Can Creative Practice Do About Or With Hate?
Chair, Nicholas Royle
Carolyn Laubender, ‘Empty Spaces: Creativity, Femininity, and the Politics of Reparation’
Helen Tyson, ‘“Forebodings about fascism”: Marion Milner’s “Method”’
Alicia Kent, ‘Leonora Carrington’s Liminal States’
Keston Sutherland, ‘Free speech / poetic disinhibition’
[Lunch: 1 hour]
2.30 – 3.40pm Readings: Forms Of Fascism And Anti-Fascism
Chair, Phoebe Cripps
Jeannette Baxter, Hugh Sykes Davies’ Petron (1935)
Freya Marshall Payne, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves (1931)
Rachel Franklin, Salvador Dali’s Hidden Faces (1944)
Claudia Treacher, Don Treacher’s ‘Untitled (Two Figures)’ (1941)
Alistair Davies, W.H. Auden’s ‘September 1st 1939’ (1939)
[20 minute break]
4 – 5.10pm Tour of ‘A Tale of Mother’s Bones’ in The Ground Floor Gallery and a conversation about the works in the light of the discussions of the day
Led and then facilitated by Hope Wolf
Paintings and drawings from ‘A Tale of Mother’s Bones’ will be selected and the audience will be invited to respond to the works in light of the papers and responses they have heard throughout the day.
5.10pm Concluding response to the conference – Jacqueline Rose
5:30pm Symposium Closes
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- By Rail
Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
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Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
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Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
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Facilities for disabled visitors
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