“Since the earliest times of Western civilisation philosophers of Antiquity ruminated over the mysterious borderlands of the unconscious, our dreams. Throughout time dreams have been ascribed healing powers, demonic subversion and religious exaltation in equal parts. The Middle Ages effectively banned the interpretation of dreams as heresy, only to be woken in the Renaissance with the emergence of the individual through the birth of the nation state. The interpretation of dreams transformed as we began to subscribe to the truths of science in the time of the Enlightenment and during the Age of Reason. The rise of Modernity, beginning with the Industrial Revolution, added rationalism and economics to our dreams and also psychoanalysis as prescribed by Freud and Jung in order to map and to catalogue the unconscious. It was a time of tremendous innovation at the expense of the spiritual, which led to states of equal Melancholy and Romanticism that found its’ way into the arts. Under the placate of the French Revolution the collective dream became politicised as well during this time by the likes of Hegel, Karl Marx and Nietsche. After the world wars of the 20th century Post-modernism took hold, which brought dreams to the clinical operating table. Our Present Post-ideological time has released our dreams onto the vast Exo-brain that is the Internet, where knowledge has been made worthless due to its immediate accessibility. New forms of dream interpretation are now processed through vast neural networks to produce artificial intelligences in conjunction with the rise of identity politics and the questioning of the individual genius.”
The exhibition “Dreamsongs - From Medicine to Demons to Artificial Intelligence” curated by Bjorn Stern at Colnaghi is based on the Five Dreams as proposed by the 5th Century scholar Macrobius, who wrote a commentary on the famous poem by Cicero “The Dream of Scipio” which has been a curatorial guide to lead us through the ages of dreaming. They are: The Enigmatic Dream: Somnium, The Prophetic Dream: Visio, The Oracular Dream: Oraculum, The Nightmare: Insomnium and The Apparition: Visum
Click on each room to journey into our dream world!