Hysteria: Past yet present
February 5 – April 9, 2009
Opening reception Thursday February 5, 5pm – 7pm
Hysteria is an elusive, psychosomatic, even mythical disorder, impinging on our physical, cultural, and moral concerns. It is often characterized as a mercurial state of disturbance that can be manifested in both a psychological and physical sense. The word “hysteria” comes from the Greek work hystera, a term applied to disturbances of the uterus. Addressing this topic, a number of contemporary artists have dealt directly with the work of European medical professionals Sigmund Freud and Jean-Martin Charcot by creating artwork that mirrors aspects of their studies. This exhibition will explore hysteria in relation to gender construction, feminine identity and pathologization, and sheer physical form given to the condition in the imagination of artists.