The Gallery at the Kranzberg Arts Center launched the St. Louis debut of acclaimed interactive multimedia installation The Talking Cure as the centerpiece of its 2018 season, running through May 27. Conceived and produced by New York-based visual artist Melissa Stern, The Talking Cure includes her collaboration with twenty-four writers, poets, novelists, screenwriters, playwrights and actors. Now the project begins its next iteration with the help of local artists, writers, performers, students and community leaders providing their own interpretations of the work in a series of scheduled events through May.

For The Talking Cure, which takes its name from Sigmund Freud’s original description of psychoanalysis, Stern created twelve sculptures – some of the folks living in her brain made real. She then asked twelve writers, poets, novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights to each choose a sculpture to which they related most intimately and write an imagined monologue of the goings on in the sculpture’s mind. She then enlisted 12 actors to record the monologues, speaking their interpretations of the written pieces.

As in other cities where the exhibit has traveled, the collaboration process will now repeat itself within the St. Louis community with a series of conjunctive events in partnership with organizations including: St. Lou Fringe, JPEK CreativeWorks Theatre, Wild Women Writers Group, TLT Productions, Hope Creates, Consuming Kinetics Dance Company, Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design, St. Louis Poetry Meetup Group, Saint Louis Story Sitchers, Kranzberg Jazz Jam, Mehlville School District and Saint Louis University.

“The impact at each of the previous venues for The Talking Cure has been widespread and is always defined by the participants viewing the artwork,” says Kranzberg Arts Center Gallery Director Diana Hansen. “Everyone who viewed the exhibit was invited to respond in whatever way was, to them, the most immediate and meaningful. Now it is our turn to engage with this exhibit and to make an impact in our community.”

Several PopOut! events are scheduled. These are social gatherings designed to facilitate creative conversations, engagement and networking. Attendees are welcome to engage with the exhibit in whatever way they see fit, while various artists drop in to present spoken word, poetry, and/or music responding to the exhibit.

Scheduled public events include:

March 23: TLT Productions Something Like…Godspell Reading (7:30 p.m.) and PopOut! (6-9 p.m.)

April 6: PopOut! (6-9 p.m.)

April 13: Consuming Kinetics Dance Company Movement response (7:30 p.m.) and Craft Alliance Artist demos in clay, printmaking, drawing (6-9 p.m.)

April 14: St Lou Fringe presents The Talking Cure Project SPEAKS; A World Premiere Piece of Performance Art(7 p.m. gallery showing | 8 p.m. performance) $15 + silent auction

April 20: PopOut! (6-9 p.m.)

April 21Hope Creates Expressive Arts Exhibition (1-4 p.m.) and STL Poetry MeetUp (5-7 p.m.)

May 4: PopOut! (6-9 p.m.)

May 5: Saint Louis Story Stitchers(time TBD)

May 12: Talking Crafts: Artist Demo & Community Creation(5-8 p.m.) 8 slots available, $35/person

May 18: (7:30 p.m.), PopOut! (6-9 p.m.)

May 19: Closing Reception (6-9 p.m.)

Artist Melissa Stern will return to St. Louis for the April 14 performance by St. Lou Fringe, as well as a special lecture at Saint Louis University. For complete event details, visit www.kranzbergartscenter.org.

Since 2012, The Talking Cure has been exhibited at Fetherston Gallery in Seattle; Smart Clothes Gallery in New York; the Akron Art Museum and Real Art Ways (RAW) – Hartford, Connecticut’s Contemporary Art Center; Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, S.C.; and, most recently, the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.

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