76 Grand Street
Polymorphous Perverse was an exhibition of work by Tim Noble & Sue Webster that was presented at The Freud Museum in London in the fall of 2006, and later recreated at Deitch Projects in February 2008.
The title of this exhibition referenced Freud’s belief that young children are “polymorphously perverse”—meaning they demonstrate sexual behavior that the adult world regards as deviant. While education stifles these sexual tendencies, it cannot purge them completely, leaving them dormant in the adult subconscious. Grotesque and unsettling, Polymorphous Perverse forced viewers to confront these repressed infantile desires.
The focus of the exhibition was a kinetic sculptural installation entitled Scarlett, which featured a worktable on which numerous disturbing and monstrous mechanical toys were defecating, rubbing, sucking, fucking, and the like. The moveable parts were brought to life by sensors detecting the viewer’s circumnavigation of the piece, giving the viewer control over the displays of sexual violence, perversion, neglect, death, filth, and chaos. In Noble & Webster’s Garden of Earthy Delights, unlike the original by Hieronymus Bosch, playing the part of the innocent bystander was impossible.
Polymorphous Perverse had an accompanying book with essays by Linda Nochlin and James Putnam. This was Tim Noble & Sue Webster’s second exhibition at Deitch Projects. Their first show, I Heart You, took place in 2000 and was one of the most popular exhibitions in the gallery’s history. Wasted Youth, a survey book of Noble & Webster with a biographical essay by Jeffrey Deitch, was published by Rizzoli in 2006.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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