(Who is the author of a dream?) – The trailer for ‘A Tergo’ by NIS (New International School)

(Who is the author of a dream?)

Wednesday 11 November 2009, 7 – 9pm

A film, based on Freud’s ‘Wolfman’ case, conceived and shot at Treignac Project by NIS (New International School) members in August 2009.

“I dreamt that it was night and that I was lying in bed. (My bed stood with its foot towards the window; in front of the window there was a row of old walnut trees. I know it was winter when I had the dream, and night-time.) Suddenly the window opened of its own accord, and I was terrified to see that some white wolves were sitting on the big walnut tree in front of the window. There were six or seven of them. The wolves were quite white, and looked more like foxes or sheep-dogs, for they had big tails like foxes and they had their ears pricked like dogs when they pay attention to something. In great terror, evidently of being eaten up by the wolves, I screamed and woke up. My nurse hurried to my bed, to see what had happened to me. It took quite a long while before I was convinced that it had only been a dream; I had had such a clear and life-like picture of the window opening and the wolves sitting on the tree. At last I grew quieter, felt as though I had escaped from some danger, and went to sleep again." (Freud, 1918)

The trailer along with posters etc. are a promotional device but are also the place where the dream of cinema is first invoked. The film and poster ‘A Tergo’ (literally ‘from behind’) were conceived as a collective response to readings of Freud’s interpretation of his patient’s symptoms. The possibility of re-interpreting the Wolfman’s symptoms is the possibility that exists in any act of reading. But the symptoms, or the Wolfman’s mental health in general, are not in themselves interesting. What is interesting is the fissure between the text of the dream and the suggested trauma that it relates to. The film may never be made, or there may exist a potentially endless number of edited versions, which would collectively relocate the site of interpretation indefinitely.

The trailer was made using the footage amassed in shooting scenes that attempt to visualize the text written by Freud. It is also a record of a collaborative process and as such represents not only the film to come but also the context in which it was created, a kind of collective dreaming.

New International School (NIS) contends that art education is the very practice of art in emergence, and cannot be formalized or contained by external concerns to those practices. NIS is first of all a mobile coalition of artists, theorists and researchers. The meetings are structured around loose, international groupings of individuals who act as peers.

The Treignac Projet is an off-centre, peer-initiated organisation, directed towards collaborative activity within the arts. The project is modeled on the University rather than the regional Arts Centre, where research and teaching, auto-administration, and academic independence, all come together through the efforts of a network of peers. The development of the site in association with AESD, is itself the topic of architectural and artistic activity and includes an engagement with its location and its effect on the local area.