Morris, Simon; RE-WRITING FREUD, 2005
For this book work, Re-Writing Freud the artist Simon Morris has re-written Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams. A computer programme (designed by Christine Morris) randomly selects words, one at a time from Freud’s 222,704 word text and begins to reconstruct the entire book, word by word, making a new book with the same words, every time the programme is re-started. This book is one instantiation of that process, scrupulously typeset according to the dimensions, fonts, chapter divisions and paragraph lengths of the 1976 Penguin paperback edition of Freud’s work, and printed on equivalent paper stocks.
Morris unleashes a virus. He puts a contagious process to work, intervening in Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, rupturing it and returning it to us in a new order. By subjecting Freud’s words to a random re-distribution, meaning is turned into non-meaning and the spectator is put to work to make sense of the new poetic juxtapositions. The world of dreams is subject to the laws of the irrational and Re-Writing Freud gives the spectator the chance to view Freud’s text in its primal state. This fine production was printed by Imschoot, Ghent, in an edition of 1000, and given their blue stamp of approval. With a conceptualist formalism, Morris’ version of Freud’s text follows the typographic layout found in the edition of Freud’s work owned by his long-term collaborator, the psychoanalyst Dr. Howard Britton, whose worn book cover sets the tone for Morris’ appropriation.
"With Re-Writing Freud, judgments about sense no longer themselves make any sense. The reader who responds to this book by complaining that it is nonsensical is neither right nor wrong, but asking the wrong question, posing an impossible problem in response this book’s insistent imaginary solution.”
— Professor Craig Dworkin, University of Utah, from the Introduction to Re-Writing Freud, ‘Grammar Degree Zero'