To mark the culmination of Mathilde Rosier’s Necklace of Fake Teeth, Deborah Levy took a tour of the exhibition at Camden Art Centre, before leading the group to a live performance by Rosier, at the nearby Freud Museum.
High is the Ocean Rosier’s new performance involved original artefacts collected by Freud, and live, percussive music creating the atmosphere of a tribal ritual. Staged across two floors of his London residence, the performance enacted Freud’s notion of the topographic imagination in which he analogised the ground floor of the building with the rational mind, with the upper level representing spiritual perceptions.
Rosier was inspired by Romain Rolland’s notion of the ‘Oceanic Feeling’ which was also a preoccupation for Freud. It describes a religiously generated feeling of limitlessness or ‘continuity’ with a cosmic energy connecting all things. Freud understood this mystical experience as the primitive ego-feeling – the sense of being that an infant has prior to its formation of an individual self, or ego, separated from its mother and the rest of the external world.