The Artistic Interventions Of The Freud Home / Museum Communicate Ideas Around Memory And The Uncanny

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Bethany Knapper Stillness & Time CP2 Assessment #2 Analyse the ways in which the artistic interventions made in the Freud home/museum communicate ideas around memory and the Uncanny. Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, developed an entirely new way of understanding the human mind; he is regarded as the founder of psychoanalysis. His London home was used by the Freud family from 1938…show more content…
Sophie Calle’s Appointment (1999), was an installation piece in which she placed personal keepsakes in the Freud House, alongside autobiographical text recalling a memory in which the keepsake is somehow associated with. Figure 1 shows a part of the installation where Calle had draped a wedding dress over the famous Freud couch, this is significant as it’s where Freud’s patients would have lay and according to the curator of this project James Putman () ‘say everything that came to mind without consciously sifting or selecting information’ and then going on to say that ‘this became a foundation upon which psychoanalytic therapy was built’. Although I think it’s clear that Calle has spent more time sifting through which memories to recall for the piece I feel that she is putting herself in the role of the patient wanting to be psychoanalysed, therefore the viewer assumes the role of the therapist. Roland Barthes talks about photography as ‘violent not because it shows violent things but because…in it nothing can be refused or transformed’ (), the photograph is the materialised snapshot of memory; but where a memory can easily be falsified a photograph cannot. In terms of this installation Calle avoids the ‘violence’ by not indulging the audience with a document of memory that ‘cannot be refused or transformed’, she does reveal a visual element in the form of an object, shrouding the details of the memory in a vague but romantic retelling. Christian
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