For Art Basel OVR:20c, Bruce Silverstein Gallery is pleased to present Dream House. The digital presentation, built on the foundation of Louise Nevelson’s Dream House Wall II, will feature works by numerous artists spanning several disciplines, including Lynn Chadwick, M.C. Escher, Ahmet Ertug, William Hawkins, André Kertész, Alfred, Leslie, Martin Ramirez, Cindy Sherman, Frederick Sommer, Joel-Peter Witkin, and Francesca Woodman.
In the early twentieth century, while forming a professional relationship and friendship with senior psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung relayed a dream to Freud that further developed the younger analyst’s own brand of psychoanalysis, and his work relating to the collective unconscious.
Jung described a dream in which he was in his house, but his house had transformed, and each floor was a different time period – Rococo, Medieval, Roman, and Primitive. The dream ends with the discovery of two human skulls among the dust of the small cave. Jung’s “dream house” represents the human psyche, and each story is a deeper level of that psyche or soul, and its relationship to collective ancestral ideas and memories. Thus, the house becomes an important symbol as both a physical dwelling, and the foundation for psychological development.
Houses, and the objects that humans fill them with, are often viewed as extensions of the people who inhabit them. Houses are constructed, not only with wood and bricks and beams, but also with relationships – with the outside world, with other people, and chiefly among them, the relationship to the Self. The search for understanding manifests in myriad ways, and the longing for recognition translates into assigning legs to chairs, and bestowing clocks with faces.
Louise Nevelson, famous for her assemblages and sculptures which are often interpreted as house-like dwellings and sacred spaces, spoke about traversing the layers of the Self as it informed her practice: “The deeper you go into the self, the more you recognize who you are, and only when you do can you project. I think there’s something very important about character: character is structure. Character is the architecture of the being. And once you go into the inner being you will find that everything you encompass, in any direction you choose, is your own.”
The concept of personal psychology is coupled with the idea of historical consciousness, and how these are concurrent factors in an individual’s experience of the world. Nevelson touched on this theory when speaking about similarities between African sculpture and columns on the subway. The artist said: “I somehow recognized them. Now I know there are philosophies that might say something about reincarnation or collective memory or something. I don’t know enough about that. I only know that when I look at them they’re related to me; they’re not apart; they are in me.”