Dream Auction is an umbrella for a series of works exploring the Korean practice of buying and selling dreams. A casual part of everyday life which is rooted in centuries of historical dream interpretation, friends or relatives might buy or sell one another’s dreams based on their symbolic characteristics. Though such transactions are informal and friendly, they hold mutual affective value rooted in the sharing of one’s personal, internal contemplations. It is a transfer of energy in good faith, an act of friendly generosity rooted in reverie. Echoing these relational habits, artist Bongsu Park’s work offers her audience similarly profound moments for experiencing dreams, using sensory visuals to embellish our perception of the subconscious.
Dream Auction + The Tavistock Institute
We invite you to join a ‘collaboration through dreams’. This is between artists, a poet, social science, a fine art auction house and an expert in Korean dream culture. We will be experimenting with fusing different dream practices and creating new ones.
The project will begin with a unique series of Social Dreaming Matrices (SDMs) in collaboration with the artist Bongsu Park, who will be bringing a South Korean understanding of dreams into the Institute’s Social Dreaming (as developed by practitioners of Group Relations).
The shared dreams will be presented as an artwork ‘Dream Ecologies - Patterning Social Dreaming Matrix’ which can be bid for in the Dream Auction alongside a series of Dream Scrolls representing individual dreams.
Later on, we will hold a Symposium where we will share learning and reflection about the experience including conversations, reflections and presentations from the collaborators.
This project is supported by Arts Council Korea. A percentage of raised profits will be donated to charity entelechyarts.org
Online on Zoom
Social Dreaming Matrix
Monday, 1 November 11.00 - 12.15 GMT/UTC 19.00 - 20.15 South Korea
Thursday, 4 November 11.00 - 12.15 GMT/UTC 19.00 - 20.15 South Korea
Monday, 8 November 11.00 - 12.15 GMT/UTC 19.00 - 20.15 South Korea
Friday, 19 November 14.00 - 16.30 GMT/UTC 22.00 - 00.30 South Korea
In person (and online on Zoom)
at The Rosenfeld Gallery
37 Rathbone St, London
W1T 1NZ 14.00 - 16.00 GMT/UTC 20.00 - 22.00 South Korea
Saturday, 20 November
Social Dreaming Matrices were developed at the Tavistock Institute by Gordon Lawrence who built on Wilfrid Bion’s work about conditions for thinking in groups; and how thought emerges as a collective process from the group’s unconscious, alongside contemporary ecological and physical theories where day to day realities are broken up through interaction with an underworld and abstract wholeness of the universe.
Gordon Lawrence described a dream matrix as like a pot of hot, bubbling porridge. Social Dreaming is used in organisational and systems change and in recent years as part of social movements and change – Tent Cities in New York, London and Tel Aviv; online throughout the pandemic and as part of the Tavistock Institute’s excavation and opening up of its Archive.
Korean Dream Culture in Korea, discussing dreams and interpreting their meaning amongst friends and family is a popular way of identifying symbols that can shed light on events in a person’s future. Often, dreams containing particularly desirable elements are informally “sold”, transferring energy or a state of mind from one close connection to another. People who have had good dreams for example, such as one involving a pig which traditionally alludes to the arrival of wealth, can actually sell their dream to someone else.
This project emerged as we were working with our night dreams in one of the Social Dreaming Matrixes which was part of the Deepening Creative Practice with organisations programme offered by the Tavistock Institute, during its 2020-2021 cohort.
We all had different roles in the programme, Juliet Scott as one of the directors, Bongsu Park as an intervening artist, and Marie Beauchamps as one of the participants. But the Social Dreaming Matrix transcends roles, generating a space where each participant stands in connection with the rest of the group through the web of night dreams and associations emerging within the matrix. Later, we realised that the Social Dreaming Matrices spoke to each of our creative practices in distinct ways.
Bongsu Park is a London-based Korean artist. Her recent work is founded on how our innermost thoughts may connect with other people’s and how these can be shared publicly. Bongsu has developed an ongoing practice exploring Korean dream culture since 2017 including Dream Ritual at The Coronet Theatre in London(2019), Dreamers’ Gathering and Dream Auction at Post Territory Ujeongguk in Seoul (2021).
Marie Beauchamps is a poet and an academic working across the humanities, the social sciences, and law. Her practice is marked by having grown up in a tiny village in the North-East of France, leaving after high school to build a life elsewhere, moving abroad, settling in cities, learning new languages, losing languages, feeling lost, making space, reconfiguring space.
Juliet Scott is a visual artist with an interest in still life and object and social scientist interweaving between these disciplines through her studio research; organisational curation projects and the creation of dynamic learning environments including as programme director of Deepening Creative Practice with Organisations.
Hye-Kyoung Koh, PhD (Korea) is the author of Interpretation of Korean Fairy Tales; Using Dreams to Transform Your Life; In the Beginning Was the Goddess; Dreamwork with Gwangju Trauma Victims; Understanding Dreams (in Korean). Dr Koh is an associate professor at the Healing and Counselling Graduate University in Seoul and heads The Academy of Myth And Dreams.
Anna Harsanyi is a curator, educator, and arts manager based in NYC. She is dedicated to presenting art in a non-art context and creating sites that invite participation from audiences outside of the art community. Most recently, Anna worked as the Project Manager for the Guggenheim Social Practice initiative at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and she currently teaches at The New School.
Giorgia Parodi Brown is Deputy Director at Sotheby’s and Manager of the Bids Department. She has lived and worked in Milan, Sao Paulo, New York, Paris and London. Giorgia oversees all of the auctions and auctioneers for both for Sotheby’s as well as charity events.
* The first Dream Auction was held at Post Territory Ujeongguk in Seoul on 5th June 2021 as part of Bongsu Park's solo exhibition Dreamers' Gathering supported by Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture. All profits were donated to Miral Welfare Foundation.