Joseph Kosuth, 'A View to Memory'

  The Sigmund Freud Museum regularly presents temporary exhibitions. They make it possible for visitors to expand their perspective into other contexts beyond the permanent exhibition concentrating on Sigmund Freud. The two key focal points of exhibition activity are tracing the cultural, and scientific and historical pathways of psychoanalysis and related areas and artistically exploring themes that are linked to psychoanalytic thinking.

Joseph Kosuth, 'A View to Memory'
from 1 May 2002 - Autumn 2003

Since the spring of 2002, the Sigmund Freud Museum has offered the juncture between psychoanalysis and art a new surface for intervention. The series was started by Joseph Kosuth, a pioneer of conceptual art.

In cooperation with the Society of Friends of the Fine Arts, the Sigmund Freud Museum presented the American artist's installation "A View to Memory" on the former storefront of the kosher butcher shop operated by Siegmund Kornmehl, who was driven into exile in 1938.

In his installation, the artist provides a glimpse into a certain moment in the history of the house at Berggasse 19. He installs the historical image of Siegmund Kornmehl's butcher shop on the deserted storefront, while juxtaposing the glimpse into the past with a text from Sigmund Freud's Psychopathology of Everyday Life:
"It is universally acknowledged that where the origin of a people's traditions and legendary history are concerned, a motive of this kind, whose aim is to wipe from memory whatever is distressing to national feeling, must be taken into consideration. Closer investigation would perhaps reveal a complete analogy between the ways in which the traditions of a people and the childhood memories of the individual come to be formed."
Sigmund Freud: Standard Edition, vol. VI, p. 148.

The historical photograph by Edmund Engelman upon which the work is based was created in May 1938, barely a month before Sigmund Freud's emigration to England.