Category Archives: Psychology

June 10

Psychic Hélène Smith and Surrealist Automatism

On the 10th of June 1929, famous late-19th century French psychic medium and artist Hélène Smith (née Catherine-Elise Müller) died in Geneva. She was considered “the Muse of Automatic Writing” by the Surrealists, who looked up to her as a conduit to surrealist knowledge. Smith outrageously claimed that she was able to communicate, amongst others, with Martians, Victor Hugo […]

June 06

Hans Prinzhorn: Curating the Art of Mental Illness

On the 6th of June 1886, German psychiatrist and art historian  Hans Prinzhorn was born in Hemer, Westphalia. After obtaining a doctorate in art history and philosophy from the University of Vienna, he decided to train in England as a singer, but ended up studying medicine and became an Army surgeon in WWI.  In 1919, he […]

April 15

Leonardo da Vinci, Freud and Psychoanalysis

On the 15th of April 1452, Leonardo da Vinci was born in Vinci (hence the name), Italy. Generally considered the quintessential Renaissance Man, his input reached fields as various as painting, sculpture, architecture, music, mathematics, engineering, invention, anatomy, geology, cartography, botany and literature. His instatiable craving for knowledge is as much as a mystery as […]

April 11

Chris Burden: The Artist Who Shot Himself

On the 11th of April 1946, the American performance artist Chris Burden was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the US. “ Among other things, Burden has been described as a masochist; an avant-garde novitiate; a social therapist; an existential populist; a hero; the alter ego of the biblical Samson; a helpless, passive victim; a heroic victim; […]

April 09

Hiroshima: The Struggle for National Memory

On the 9th of April 1880, the Czech architect Jan Letzel was born in the town of Náchod, Bohemia. After succeeding as a prolific architect in Bohemia, Dalmatia, Montenegro, Herzegovina, and Cairo, in 1907, he moved to live and work in Japan, where together with his friend, Karl Hora, he established his own Tokyo-based architectural […]

April 08

Classicism to Surrealism: Dali’s Venus with Drawers

On the 8th of April 1820, the statue of Venus de Milo was discovered by a peasant called Yorgos Kentrotas within a buried niche in the ancient city ruins of Milos (currently Tripiti) in the Aegean. Between 130 and 100 BC when the work was created, Milos was still part of the Ottoman Empire. Perhaps […]

April 06

Surreal Memories: Leonora Carrington’s Trip Down Below

On the 6th of April 1917, the Surrealist painter Leonora Carrington was born in Clayton-le-Woods, Lancashire, England. The artist and writer lived most of her adult life in Mexico City, and was one of the last surviving participants of 1930s Surrealism. Carrington had a famous love affair with the German artist Max Ernst whose work […]

March 31

Skandalkonzert: The Battle for Modernism

On the evening of the 31st of March 1913, the infamous Skandalkonzert at the Great Hall of the Vienna Musikverein took place. Despite the bad press that followed, the event has entered public consciousness as a major breakthrough into the era of modernism in classical music. What could be more symbolic than a riot erupting […]

March 24

Wilhelm Reich: Climax To Happiness!

On the 24th of March 1897, eccentric psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich was born in the village of Dobzau, part of the old Austro-Hungarian empire (present-day Ukraine). An anti-Fascist Marxist, Reich is primarily considered the inventor of the notion of ‘sexual revolution’ who coined the phrase in the 1930s in order to illustrate his belief that a true political […]

March 09

Furs and Female Domination in Sacher-Masoch’s Writing’s

On the 9th of March 1895, the Austrian writer and journalist Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch (the term ‘masochism’ is derived from his name) died in Lindheim, the German Empire; although, there is some discrepant information about him having died in an insane asylum in Mannheim in 1906. Leading his life on the verge of reality […]