What Must An Artist Do About Dreams

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Surrounded by psychology texts every working day I returned, this week, to theories on dreams.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” C. Jung

So I begin to pay just a bit more attention to the wisdom of my dreams and I hear loud and clear what I already knew, just beneath the surface of my cognition.

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I didn’t really need permission to act on what I knew but the dream confirmation made me certain of the path I had to take.

And this leads me back to art and working practice. Susan Hiller, in this fascinating talk, ridicules a society that ignores or disregards what goes on in a third of their lives, that altered state of consciousness that is sleep. She points out that people who say they don’t dream are merely choosing not to notice. Abstract expressionist artists are always close to pre-cognition. Drawn to a colour or a mark or a shape we let the painting emerge with little separation between interior and exterior.  Our emotions and expressions are so conjoined that, if we allow, we are in a state of complete automation, of wholeness and flow. We are in the gap between a dream and its interpretation which Lacan recognised as the basis of all art.

 

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