Hertha Hurnaus: All that Remains

Sigmund Freud's practice in a limited photo edition

Please click the images for full view.

 

What remains of the world-famous birthplace of psychoanalysis, which Freud had to leave while fleeing - here, at Berggasse 19 in Vienna, where he treated his patients on the couch for decades, developed groundbreaking theories and revolutionized the human self-image?

An atmospheric place full of history, which the renowned architectural photographer Hertha Hurnaus captured during the renovation of the house in 2020. Feud's ordination presented itself to her as it had never been seen before: In an undisguised, intimate atmosphere and in the interplay of light and shadow, the traces of an eventful past clearly come to light. The high-quality photo series, published by the Sigmund Freud Museum in a small edition of 30 copies, opens up an exclusive tour of the heart of Berggasse 19.

In 1938, Edmund Engelman was able to photographically document Freud's practice before the furniture was packed and shipped to London. In 2020, Hertha Hurnaus now had the opportunity to record another turning point in the history of the building. In doing so, her photographs go beyond the moment: subtly they illustrate "all that that remains".

 

Order online - Hertha Hurnaus: All that Remains

We would also be happy to show you the photo edition at a personal viewing appointment - registration under office@freud-museum.at.

 

 

Monika Pessler, Director of the Sigmund Freud Museum, on the edition:

In the spring of 2020, photographer Hertha Hurnaus and I toured the empty rooms of Berggasse 19, intent on capturing the essence of Sigmund Freud’s former workspace on photo. The museum’s renovation and rebuild had just been completed. Its interior, however, had not yet been furnished and, at the time, possessed an almost virginal quality save for the deliberately preserved traces of the past: exposed layers of walls and worn-down, only minimally renovated doors and windows. In both an animated exchange of words and gestures as well as silently touring the space, Hurnaus and I considered whether—despite of its emptiness or even because of it—one would be able to depict the one thing latently present and ephemerally in the air: the genius loci of the place of origin of psychoanalysis.

As an architectural photographer, Hertha Hurnaus focuses first and foremost on the characteristics of places and spaces. In doing so, her photograph of the wall, against which Freud’s storied couch stood up until his 1938 flight from the Nazis, tells a complex story: The clearly defined surfaces of the floor, walls and their recesses come together to form an abstract, illustrative geometry that underscores the presence of the absent—not unlike images in dreams, which are also characterized by “condensation” and “displacement,” light and shadow add further nuances that, like in the layering of aspects, both highlight and obscure things.

Beside the absent couch, the selection of the photographs on display also reveal doors that lead in and out of Freud’s treatment room. In one photo, we see two closely perpendicular doorways. The larger doorway used to lead to the analytical setting; the smaller jib door allowed patients to leave Freud’s practice discreetly. Like with double exposures, the subjects appear to have been shot in quick succession; the decidedly vertical composition dissecting the space, causing the spaces in between to gain significance—especially the narrow and recessed ones. The impression of concealment invoked in this way is very capable of competing with the secrets once revealed in the intimacy of this space.

In the photograph of the historic cloakroom, a narrow strip of cropped door frame on the left side of the composition suggests the possibility of entering and exiting. The passing of time cannot necessarily be discerned by the original brass hooks of the coat rack, which to this day represent the taste of the Viennese bourgeoisie, but rather by its fragile covering made of bast.

Hertha Hurnaus intently “gets to the bottom” of the origin of spaces and their associations of meanings. Tempted by the belief that spaces store their histories and origins, visualizing their atmospheres becomes her main concern. In doing so, the photographer’s attention is on the interplay between light and shadow with the built environment: For light—which in its constant state of change, molds and describes the character of architecture—has always been there, and is all that remains.

 

Object Names


Hertha Hurnaus, Cloakroom
Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna 2020
15,7 in x 10,5 in
numbered edition: 30 Pcs. + 3 AP*
signed and dated

Hertha Hurnaus, Doors
Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna 2020
15,7 in x 10,5 in
numbered edition: 30 Pcs. + 3 AP*
signed and dated

Hertha Hurnaus, Treatment Room
Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna 2020
10,5 in x 15,7 in
numbered edition: 30 Pcs. + 3 AP*
signed and dated

 

*Artist proof

 

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