Last Train to the Unconscious

Photography by KELDER

The invention of cinema offered an apparatus to replicate dream-like forms that already existed inside our minds. Curiously enough, the first film was screened by the Lumiere brothers in 1895, a few months later, in 1896 Sigmund Freud established the basis of a new science, Psychoanalysis. Though, cinema fits every criterion to be the perfect manifestation of the Unconscious, Freud chose the Mystic Writing Pad as a more faithful medium to represent the Unconscious. Cinema became the banished medium of memory, though it bases its operations on the peculiarity of the human eye, the persistence of vision that maintains an image for a tenth of a second after the image has disappeared, it is the scene of writing that ciphers all encrypted memories. Discoveries that characterised the turmoil at the turn of the century, also includes railway travel that led to the standardization of time. Where the Unconscious does not know time, railway-time established time as the unit of measuring work, directing every aspect of modern life towards productivity and labour.

The video-essay is a different kind of train, it is a train of thought travelling through a space and time, inhabiting the familiar and the uncanny, from cinema to memory following a trail from domestic to factory spaces, the time of labour and spaces of reproduction, dreaming of ways to render the Unconscious in written image and filmed words.

The screening will be followed by a conversation between Sanjita Majumder, Rudi Christian Ferreira and Adriënne Groen exploring concerns raised in Lungiswa Gqunta’s installation Poolside Conversations.

Sanjita Majumder is a PhD candidate in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London.