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UAL Research Online

Self Contained

Fortnum, Rebecca (2013) Self Contained. [Show/Exhibition]

Type of Research: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Fortnum, Rebecca

“.. only where I find a face do I encounter an exteriority and does an outside happen to me.” G. Agamben, Means without End, Notes on Politics (2000)

Rebecca Fortnum’s exhibition at the Freud Museum, 'Self Contained', develops several strands of her recent work on the formation of identity, dreams and the power of the gaze.

The series 'Dream' depicts children with their eyes closed in paired pencil portraits. In these small, intimate works we can look at the subjects very closely but they never look back. No blinking, no flinching; we are struck by their interiority. They shut out the intrusive viewer. The imagery responds directly to notions of the power relations of the subject’s gaze, introducing on a suggestive level the ideal of the child’s dreams and imaginings that are inaccessible to the viewer. The portraits are completed in pairs in a process developed to question the authenticity of the single image. These works will be displayed in Anna Freud’s room at the Freud Museum, along with works in silverpoint, to draw out connections with Anna Freud’s writings on the child’s relationship with the adult world.

The series 'Wide Shut' includes three large paired portraits, each with a veil of colour over the image. These are of older girls, one image of each pair with open eyes. They act out the duality of proper and improper, of communication and communicability, of potentiality and action.

Fortnum is also exhibiting a series of letterpress works that use text fragments extracted from the governess’ monologue in 'Turn of the Screw' by Henry James. These are printed by hand, making the words materially present and isolating them from the story. The texts have been selected for the way they demonstrate the governess’ use of self-narration to form her identity. It has been suggested that Freud’s The Case of Miss Lucy R was used by James as a basis for his chilling tale.

A book to accompany the exhibition will be published by RGAP, designed by Colin Sackett with essays by Graham Music, Louisa Minkin and Dr Maria Walsh. The exhibition and publication have been supported by CCW Graduate School Research Committee, University of the Arts London and The Arts Council of England.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Date: 6 March 2013
Funders: CCW Graduate School Research Committee, University of the Arts London, The Arts Council of England
Related Websites: http://www.freud.org.uk/exhibitions/75009/self-contained/
Related Websites:
Locations / Venues:
From Date
To Date
Freud Museum 20 Maresfield Gardens London NW3 5SX
6 March 2013
26 May 2013
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2013 16:37
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2013 16:37
Item ID: 5701
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/5701

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