Mednikoff_The Flying Pig

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.

For more on the exhibition click here
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.


10am Registration.

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

For further information please email

Booking information

Please note that Booking Fees apply on the following transactions:
Online: £1.50 per ticket + £1.50 postage or free collection at the Box Office.
Print at home tickets: These can be emailed to you on the account you have registered with DLWP free of charge (booking fees apply)
Telephone: £3.50 per transaction + £1.50 postage or free collection at the Box Office
There will be a cheaper booking fee for events under £10 (booking fee = £1.00) and under £5 (booking fee = 50p).
Free events booked online are not subject to a booking fee.
There is no booking fee for tickets purchased over the counter.

Please note that we are only able to post tickets within the UK. If you live overseas please select box office collection or print at home tickets. Tickets purchased for post will be send 10 – 14 days before the show date.

Full terms and conditions can be found here :

Staying locally

There are plenty of welcoming and good value B&Bs & boutique hotels in Bexhill. The De La Warr Pavilion regularly uses the following :

Travel information
  • 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).
    Visit for up-to-date train travel information.
  • Taxis
    Town Taxis:  01424 211 511
    Parkhurst Taxis:  01424 733 456
  • By Car
    If driving from the London area:
    Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
    Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
    From the Brighton area:
    Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
  • Parking
    Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 8pm. After this time parking is free. There is also lmiited free car parking along the seafront.

Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.

Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.

Please contact the Box Office on 01424 229 111 to arrange a visit.

Facilities for disabled visitors

  • Ramped access at the front of the building
  • A low counter at the Box Office and  Information Desk
  • Disabled toilets on two floors
  • A lift to all floors
  • Accessible galleries on both floors
  • An accessible Café
  • Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
  • Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
  • Ramped access into the Studio
  • Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.

Facilities for blind or visually-impaired

  • Large print season brochures

Facilities for the hard-of-hearing

  • An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
  • British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.