press release

Polymorphous Perverse, an exhibition of work by Tim Noble & Sue Webster that was presented at The Freud Museum in London in the fall of 2006, will be recreated at Deitch Projects, opening on February 29, 2008.

The title of this exhibition references 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 forces viewers to confront these repressed infantile desires.

The focus of the exhibition is a kinetic sculptural installation entitled Scarlett, which features a worktable on which numerous disturbing and monstrous mechanical toys are defecating, rubbing, sucking, fucking and the like. The moveable parts are 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 is impossible.

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Tim Noble & Sue Webster
Polymorphous Perverse
76 Grand Street, New York