THE TALKING CURE

see the "Talking Cure" drawings
see the "Talking Cure" sculptural work

My brain is inhabited by a universe of people who look a little like you and me but tend to lack a limb or two. They are cheerful, standing tall in the face of absurdity and adversity. They balance delicately both physically and emotionally, seemingly ready to fall, but they never do.

I have long been fascinated by what goes on in people’s minds when they look at art. What stories do they tell themselves? What emotions and memories are triggered? I have made work that deals explicitly with memory, childhood and family, subjects with a strong psychological bent. I’m as interested in what others think the pieces are “saying” as in what has motivated me to make them in the first place.

"The Talking Cure," takes its name from Sigmund Freud’s original description of psychoanalysis. I made twelve sculptures- some of the folks living in my brain made real. I then asked twelve writers- poets, novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights — to each chose a sculpture to which they related most intimately. Each wrote his or her imagined monologue of the goings on in the sculpture's mind.

The next step in the game was to find twelve actors and have them each record one of the monologues. With minimum direction from me, they spoke their interpretations of the written pieces that had in turn been inspired by each sculpture. It’s been like a game of “whisper down the lane” with each participant interpreting what they see or read and giving each next step a little tweak of their own.

The audio recordings were coded and sent up onto the Inter-Web. When you point your phone at the code it triggers the audios.

And now, by looking and listening to the work, you too will become part of the collaboration.

This entire project is documented in a limited edition book of image, word and sound that is available for purchase. If you are interested in taking a look or buying a copy please contact me via email. info@melissa-stern.com