A.R. Hopwood: False Memory Archive

Gallery 2 - Downstairs
6 June - 12 July 2014




"...our memory has no guarantees at all, and yet we bow more often than is objectively justified to the compulsion to believe what it says."

Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1899)


"In real life, as well as in experiments, people can come to believe things that never really happened"

Professor Elizabeth Loftus, Eyewitness Testimony (1979)


Based upon fascinating scientific research that demonstrates how susceptible we are to false memories, A.R. Hopwood's False Memory Archive at The Freud Museum London and Carroll / Fletcher London features new collaborative artworks and a unique collection of vivid personal accounts of things that never really happened.


Including a series of large-scale photographs of damage caused to the walls of the Freud Museum by previous art exhibitions and featuring an exchange with a fictional security guard, the project evocatively reflects on the way we creatively reconstruct our sense of the past, while providing insight into the often humorous, obscure and uncomfortable things people have misremembered.


Supported by an Arts Award from the Wellcome Trust, The False Memory Archive at Carroll / Fletcher's new project space will be a series of works developed by Hopwood in collaboration with experimental psychologists, members of the public and a cast of fictional characters that reflect on the history and consequences of false memory research. 

At a parallel exhibition at The Freud Museum London, Hopwood will present new site-specific works made at the museum, including looped night-vision video footage taken from the inside of Freud's personal lift and a film of a FaceTime conversation between two actors who have memorised a number of false memories submitted by the public to the archive. The site of Freud's former home in Hampstead - an atmospheric interior that evokes a seductive memory of his life and work - has provided the most potent of contexts for a project that seeks to explore the veracity of our own autobiographical memories.

The False Memory Archive examines what role artists can play in representing scientific information to the public, whilst presenting research into false memory as a potent signifier for our times.

The national tour is curated by Gill Hedley and supported by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.


Notes to Editors

i) A.R. Hopwood was awarded a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowship in 2013 - the first artist to receive such an accolade. This award resulted from the touring of The False Memory Archive and an ongoing residency at the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths College under the supervision of Professor Christopher French, a leading academic in the field. Since 2002 Hopwood has also worked under the guise of the WITH Collective, creating playful conceptual artworks that explore the idea of 'experiential offsetting' through a series of 60 Solutions, including constructing a more traumatic past for you, rehearsing your death on your behalf and attempting to contact you after you die. www.withyou.co.uk


ii) The False Memory Archive is funded by a Small Arts Award grant from Wellcome Trust and a National Touring grant from Arts Council England. It is sponsored by Vicon Revue & Ilford and has been supported by Goldsmiths College. Touring partners for The False Memory Archive include; The Mead Gallery University of Warwick, The Exchange Penzance, The University of Edinburgh's Talbot Rice Gallery and The Freud Museum London.

iii) Contribute your own false or non-believed memories to the archive through the project website www.falsememoryarchive.com

iv) The Construction Of Memory

A conference in association with The False Memory Archive exhibition at The Freud Museum                   

Saturday 28 June 2014, 9.30am-5pm


Speakers Professor Christopher French, Professor Dany Nobus, Dr. Fiona Gabbert, Professor Martin Conway and artist Sharon Kivland respond to the False Memory Archive exhibition by reflecting on the nature of autobiographical memory. The conference will also ask how recent research has taken account of Freud's work in relation to his understanding of the variable nature of personal memory.



Carroll / Fletcher Project Space

17A Riding House Street, London, W1W 7DS

Website: www.carrollfletcher.com

Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm


Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London, NW3 5SX.

Website: www.freud.org.uk

Opening hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 12-5pm


Image: False Memory Archive: Crudely Erased Adults (Lost In The Mall)

A.R. Hopwood, 2013.

6 advertising light-boxes & faxed instructions.


Read The Independent's review of the touring exhibition