Opening: THE UNCANNY. Sigmund Freud and Art

Thursday, April 25 2024, at 19 h

Sigmund Freud Museum

An exhibition in Cooperation with Kunsthalle Tuebingen

On the exhibition: Monika Pessler (Sigmund Freud Museum) and Nicole Fritz (Kunsthalle Tuebingen)


Registration required: To attend, please register below.

THE UNCANNY. Sigmund Freud and Art focuses on the uncanny - on the emotion that once aroused Freud's interest and has been elevated to the status of a pictorial object in art from the beginnings. In a variety of media, works by Louise Bourgeois, Heidi Bucher, Gregory Crewdson, Birgit Jürgenssen, Helmut Newton, Hans Op de Beeck, Stephanie Pflaum (at the Showroom Berggasse 19), Markus Schinwald, Esther Shalev-Gerz, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall, Kay Walkowiak and Francesca Woodman illustrate the current and reciprocal influence of psychoanalysis and art.

Just as this specific feeling of anxiety - not least in view of the current world situation - penetrates to the surface of human consciousness, it is also reflected in contemporary art. The international positions on display confront the uncanny in metaphorical compositions of deformed or exposed bodies as well as in subtle stagings that often only gradually reveal the horror.

As early as 1919, Freud referred to the ability of the arts to express the uncanny in his text of the same name (“Das Unheimliche”). To him, the descriptions of poetry in particular appear to be even richer than the actual experience. Both the literary examples he cites and the analysis of the meaning of the term "uncanny" lead him to the same conclusion: the uncanny can be traced back to both the familiar (the homely/heimisch in German) and the repressed (the secret/unheimlich). Above all, the "veiled character" of this sensation triggers horror in us. Numerous works of contemporary art confirm Freud's insights, either focusing directly on the uncanny or evoking the feeling through almost inconspicuous irritations, whose meaning only becomes apparent on closer inspection and sheds light on the uncanny sensation.

The exhibition catalog with numerous text contributions by international authors sheds light on the relationship between art and psychoanalysis from a psychoanalytical, art and cultural studies perspective: in addition to the uncanny, Freud's interpretation of dreams and his concept of Eros and Thanatos are also addressed as key influencing factors: INNENWELTEN: Sigmund Freud and the arts / Vienna, Sigmund Freud Museum - Tübingen, Kunsthalle, ed. by Nicole Fritz & Monika Pessler. Contrib. by Nicole Fritz, Monika Pessler, Daniela Finzi, Zita Hartel, Dagmar Herzog, Viktor Mazin, August Ruhs & Jeanne Wolff Bernstein, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, Cologne 2023.


THE UNCANNY. Sigmund Freud and Art
April 26 - November 4, 2024
Sigmund Freud Museum


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