Why War? opened at the Freud museum on an entirely apt day: 6th August marked the centenary anniversary of the day the Austro-Hungarians declared war on Germany. What ensued is widely referred to as the Great War and is one of the deadliest conflicts in history. It featured the arms race, affected the entire world and prompted several revolutions within participating countries. And as the memorial events take place this year of its centenary, it’s a terrifying eye opener for all of us who have been lucky enough not to live through a conflict.
This exhibition at the Freud museum takes at its core the little known correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein on the motivations of men to enter into conflict and how it could be avoided. A topic that is debated constantly still today and thanks to the theories of men like Freud, we also have some tools by which to unpick the mechanisms of war.
The exhibition explores these ideas, the psychology behind propaganda during war, as well as artworks by Jane McAdam Freud – daughter of Lucien Freud – the East London Printmakers and Gabrielle Rifkind. There will be a responses section given by journalists, academics and politicians, to Einstein’s enduring question posed to Freud ‘Is there any way of delivering mankind from the menace of war?’ The public are also invited to respond to the question of war through message boards and poetry submissions.
This is a poignant exhibition commemorating a time and a phenomenon that unfortunately still isn’t behind us. (Words: Laura Thornley)
On until 19th October. For more info visit: http://www.freud.org.uk/exhibitions/75632/why-war/