by Andrea Rosen, Curator of Under the Surface.
Sigmund Freud’s revolutionary theories about the interpretation of dreams resonated with pop culture as well as avant-garde culture. Starting in 1948, Idilio, a weekly women’s magazine in Argentina, ran a column titled “Psychoanalysis Will Help You,” for which readers sent in their dreams to be analyzed. Each column was accompanied by a photomontage illustration of the dream created by Grete Stern, a German-born photographer and graphic designer who had relocated to Buenos Aires. In Dream 28, alternatively titled “Love Without Illusion,” a well-dressed, middle-class woman recoils from—or perhaps surveys cautiously—a masculine figure with a tortoise’s head, pointed mouth wide open and ready to snap. Stern’s images wittily captured how the conflicting demands of domesticity, femininity, and sexuality infected a woman’s psyche.
Grete Stern (German, 1904–1999)
Dream 28, 1951
gelatin silver print
Copyright Grete Stern, courtesy of Nailya Alexander Gallery, NY