Narrating Violence. A Comic-Exhibition

From October 20, the Sigmund Freud Museum sheds light on the manifold possibilities for the critical portrayal of violence in comics. Narrating Violence. A Comic-Exhibition features selected works by more than 30 international artists, spanning a range from the Shoah and individual experiences of violence in personal environments to current conflicts and the treatment of those seeking protection or of the oppressed. In the four exhibition sections "Sexualized and Gender-Based Violence", "Coming of Age", "Shoah" and "War, Fleeing, and Migration", the special exhibition opens up insights into the narrative strategies of the medium and their productivity for psychoanalysis. Works by Alison Bechdel, Anke Feuchtenberger, Regina Hofer/Leopold Maurer, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Ulli Lust, Rutu Modan, Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi, Art Spiegelman, Gene Luen Yang, and Barbara Yelin, among others, are on display.

Comparable to the functions of dream work described by Freud, namely displacement and condensation, comics express emotions in an alienated and exaggerated way on the bodies depicted. Bodies in comics are basically presented in their vulnerability – sensations, pain and aggression are embodied in them.

With their manifold methods and aesthetic possibilities of depicting experiences of violence, comics are also suitable for revealing the repressed, the unspeakable, and the tabooed – they can serve to address traumas and open up new perspectives on them. In doing so, they also offer interesting points of contact for psychoanalysis, especially with regard to the topic of violence.

The exhibition, on display in Freud's former living quarters until April 8, 2024, focuses on underground comics and alternative comics. It includes (auto)biographical, journalistic, and fictional works published as separate books, in anthologies, comic magazines, or as webcomics.


The exhibition has been curated by Marina Rauchenbacher in collaboration with Daniela Finzi.


We recommend you not to visit the exhibition if you are sensitive to explicit depictions of violence. The content shown is not suitable for persons under 16 years of age.


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The catalog accompanying the special exhibition is available in our museum shop at Berggasse 19 and online via our webshop!


Narrating Violence. A Comic-Exhibition
Special exhibition at the Sigmund Freud Museum
October 20, 2023 until April 8, 2024


Supported by







Annual Theme 2023