Zoe Beloff: Dreamland – The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society in Blackpool

By Ben Miller | 16 August 2013

Exhibition preview: Zoe Beloff: Dreamland – The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and the Blackpool Chapter, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, August 17 – November 2 2013

A photo of small fairground figures inside a contemporary art gallery
Zoe Beloff: Dreamland. Installation view, Coney Island Museum© Courtesy Zoe Beloff. Photo: Brad Paris
There is a strange and little-known local twist to be found in this exhibition in Blackpool. Having first appeared at the Coney Island Museum in 2009, Edinburgh artist Zoe Beloff's fantastical take on an story of historical idiosyncracy – dreamed to have been made by a group of vocational Freud followers during the 1920s – has toured Europe in a surreal rumination on what theme parks say about societal dreams and desires.

But its arrival at the Grundy means the exhibition has been renamed to reflect Freud’s visit to the town’s fairgrounds in 1908 – after which, in a series of dispatches giving Beloff more material to beautifully re-express, Freud wrote to his family proferring his fondness for the north-west’s picture postcard paradise.

Found footage backs up these imagined lands. “I’ve collected home movies for many years,” confesses Beloff, who has previously taken it to the Museum of Modern Art and two Whitney Biennials.

“I’ve always thought of them the way Freud thought of jokes or slips of the tongue – as inadvertently revealing the anxieties of everyday life.”

Drawings, photos and artefacts also recount the activities of a group who would have found much to enjoy on a summer stroll along the beaches of Lancashire.

  • Open 10am-5pm (closed Sunday). Admission free.

More pictures:

A black and white photo of people sitting at a table during the 1920s
Coney Island Society (1949)© Courtesy Zoe Beloff
A photo of a cartoon showing various animals inside a meeting room
© Courtesy Zoe Beloff
A photo of a cartoon showing three people inside test tubes
© Courtesy Zoe Beloff
A photo of cartoons of people inside a sketchbook
© Courtesy Zoe Beloff
A photo of a series of amusement park-style curved mirrors inside a modern art gallery
Installation view, Coney Island Museum© Courtesy Zoe Beloff. Photo: Brad Paris
A photo of the inside of a contemporary art gallery
© Courtesy Zoe Beloff. Photo: Brad Paris
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