Table with orgonomic functionalism publications Annie Ratti

Wood, publications dating from 1953-1959 Amanda Wilkinson Gallery Photo: Bas Czerwinski

This artwork by Annie Ratti consists of a custom-made table upon which are displayed a selection of publications pertaining to orgonomic research. All these publications were printed and disseminated by Ritter Press from the early 1950s onwards. These original publications were amongst the first to be used to disseminate Reich’s literature. These are generally considered the first independent publications with authentic research on the subject of orgonomy. Several of the covers of these publications are decorated with hand drawings from a variety of sources. The Ritter Press was based in the United Kingdom and orgonomic publications from this period are extremely rare.

The inclusion of this element in the exhibition reminds us of the fact that the U.S. legal authorities carried out two major book burnings of Reich’s books relating to orgonomy. In the 1930’s Reich was listed for execution by both the Nazis and the Soviet GPU (known later as the KGB). His books were banned as illegal and were amongst the millions burnt publicly in shows of revenge on all anti-Nazi influences. Years later, when Reich was a resident in the U.S. his books were burnt in 1956 in accordance with an injunction issued legally by a U.S. court. They were deemed to be 'labelling' or promotion for the orgone accumulator which had already been condemned as a fraudulent medical device. A further burning also took place in 1960, three years after Reich’s death.

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