Object of the Month: February

Joseph Kosuth: ‘O. & A./F!D! (TO I.K. AND G.F.)’, 1989

Joseph Kosuth presents the large-format photograph of a narrow hallway against the background of a passage from Freud’s essay “Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious” mounted on the wall. Anyone familiar with the rooms of Freud’s practice will recognise the visual artistic reference: although taken in a completely different apartment, the photograph is very reminiscent of Freud’s coat rack on the mezzanine floor of the house. But not only the view of the room presented here forges a link to Freud’s practice, the quotation shown in the picture also makes reference to psychoanalysis: “A boundary here is between an independent ‘thing’ and its selection and substitution”. Whether the viewer is guided by the scientific or the visual context, Kosuth’s work leads us to Sigmund Freud, whether by way of the sensory impression or the intellectual stimulation it offers.

 The object is currently on show in the special exhibition “Hidden Thoughts of a Visual Nature” in Freud’s first practice.

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