Freud’s “House Beautiful”

Some scans of Sigmund Freud’s home and psychoanalytic practice at Berggasse 19, from the book The Surreal House (ed. Jane Alison, Yale, 2010).

The first two are photographs from the famous series that Edmund Engelman made just before Freud had to flee Vienna in 1938. Of particular interest to me, amidst the mixed statuettes from China, Greece, and Egypt, is the mirror hung from the crossframe of Freud’s window. The id juxtaposed with the ego?

After that are selections from a series of velvety graphite and charcoal drawings of Engelman’s photographs by Robert Longo. The last two are outside of the interior. They are meant to be displayed as a diptych. Longo’s drawings uncannily translate the photographs (indexes of Freud’s psychoanalytic practice) back to the work of the hand, perhaps the metonymic subject of psychoanalysis itself.

I imagine Freud will soon be the focus of another round of scholarly inquiry (perhaps artistic inquiry, too). It seems that there are many more opportunities for turning his schemas and theories on their head in the way that feminist scholarship did in the 1980s and 1990s, aided in part by translations and compilations like Elisabeth Young-Bruehl’s Freud on Women

Sigmund Freud's apartment, Berggasse 19, Vienna, View of the writing desk in the study, 1938. Edmund Engelman. Photograph.

Sigmund Freud’s apartment, Berggasse 19, Vienna, View of the writing desk in the study, 1938. Edmund Engelman. Photograph.

Sigmund Freud's apartment, Berggasse 19, Vienna, View of the study, 1938. Edmund Engelman. Photograph.

Sigmund Freud’s apartment, Berggasse 19, Vienna, View of the study, 1938. Edmund Engelman. Photograph.

Untitled (Viennese porcelain stove (stretched), consulting room, 1938), Robert Longo, 2000. Graphite and charcol on mounted paper. 274 x 86 cm.

Untitled (Viennese porcelain stove (stretched), consulting room, 1938), Robert Longo, 2000. Graphite and charcoal on mounted paper.

Untitled (open door, consulting room to study, 1938). Robert Longo. 2000. Graphite and charcoal on mounted paper.

Untitled (open door, consulting room to study, 1938). Robert Longo. 2000. Graphite and charcoal on mounted paper.

Untitled (Diptych--Exterior Apartment Door with Nameplate and Peephole, 1938). Robert Longo. 2000. Graphite and charcoal on mounted paper.

Untitled (Diptych–Exterior Apartment Door with Nameplate and Peephole, 1938). Robert Longo. 2000. Graphite and charcoal on mounted paper.

Untitled (Diptych--Exterior Apartment Door with Nameplate and Peephole, 1938). Robert Longo. 2000. Graphite and charcoal on mounted paper.

Untitled (Diptych–Exterior Apartment Door with Nameplate and Peephole, 1938). Robert Longo. 2000. Graphite and charcoal on mounted paper.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s