Curator Reviews

Hans Ulrich Obrist

This book was given to me by friend and colleague Ben Vickers, and although it was considered by Jung to be his most important work, very few people had seen it before it was reproduced as a facsimile edition in 2009. During the first world war, Carl Jung embarked on an extended self-exploration which he referred to as his “confrontation with the unconscious,” culminating in this extraordinary illuminated volume created between 1914 and 1930. Best described as an early example of bio-hacking the mind, he developed profound journeying techniques that took him to the essence of his inner cognitive processes, which he called active imagination. The Red Book charts these visionary moments in Jung's life with great illumination in a mode akin to the medieval manuscripts of the saints and William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Its true significance has yet to be understood in the 21st century.

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