On Dangerous Ground. Freud’s Visual Cultures of the Unconscious

Buchpräsentation auf Englisch von Diane O'Donoghue
und Diskussion mit Hemma Rössler-Schülein


Freitag, 22. Februar 2019, 19 Uhr, Sigmund Freud Museum, Berggasse 19

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In the final years of the 19th century, Sigmund Freud began to construct evidence for the workings of an “unconscious”. On Dangerous Ground offers an innovative assessment of the complex role that his encounters with visual cultures-architecture, objects from earlier cultural epochs (“antiquities”), paintings, and illustrated books-played in that process. Diane O'Donoghue introduces, often using unpublished archival sources, the ways in which material phenomena profoundly informed Freud's decisions about what would, and would not, constitute the workings of an inner life. By returning to view content that Freud treated as forgettable, as distinct from repressed, O'Donoghue shows us a realm of experiences that Freud wished to remove from psychical meaning. These erasures form an amnesic core within Freud's psychoanalytic project, an absence that includes difficult aspects of his life narrative, beginning with the dislocations of his early childhood that he declared “not worth remembering”. What is made visible here is far from the inconsequential surface of experience; rather, we are shown a dangerous ground that exceeds the limits of what Freud wished to include within his early model of mind. In Freud's relation to visual cultures we find clues to what he attempted, in crafting his unconscious, to remove from sight.
Diane O'Donoghue is a visual and cultural historian who directs the Program for Public Humanities at the Jonathan M. Tisch College for Civic Life at Tufts University, USA, where she teaches, is Senior Fellow for the Humanities, and has served as chair of the University's Department of Visual and Critical Studies; she is also Brown University’s Visiting Professor of Public Humanities. Professor O’Donoghue is a scholar member and on the faculty of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and has been the Fulbright Freud Visiting Lecturer of Psychoanalysis at the University of Vienna and the Sigmund Freud Museum. Her writings on Freud and visual culture have received the Peter Loewenberg (formerly CORST) Prize from the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Felix and Helene Deutsch Prize, and, most recently, the Liebert Award for 2019 from the Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research at Columbia University.
Hemma Rössler-Schülein, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice. She is supervising and training analyst of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (WPV), teaches and supervises in the WPV and in the Wiener Psychoanalytische Akademie. From 2009-2015 she served as medical director of the outpatient clinic of the WPV, since 2016 as president of the WPV. Publications in the field of psychotherapy research and about conceptual questions in psychoanalysis.
Abbildung: Coverausschnitt, On Dangerous Ground. Freud’s Visual Cultures of the Unconscious, Diane O'Donoghue (c) Bloomsbury