Book: Inside the Freud Museums, by Joanne Morra

Joanne Morra, Inside the Freud Museums. History, Memory and Site-Responsive Art. London/New York: I.B. Tauris, 2018.

Sigmund Freud spent the final year of his life at 20 Maresfield Gardens, London, surrounded by all his possessions, in exile from the Nazis. The long-term home and workspace he left behind in Berggasse 19, Vienna is a seemingly empty space, devoid of the great psychoanalyst’s objects and artefacts. Now museums, both of these spaces resonate powerfully.

Since 1989, the Freud Museum London has held over 70 exhibitions by a distinctive range of artists including Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Mat Collishaw, Susan Hiller, Sarah Lucas and Tim Noble and Sue Webster. The Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna houses a small but impressive contemporary art collection, with work by John Baldessari, Joseph Kosuth, Jenny Holzer, Franz West and Ilya Kabakov. In this remarkable book, Joanne Morra offers a nuanced analysis of these historical museums and their unique relationships to contemporary art.

Taking us on a journey through the `site-responsive’ artworks, exhibitions and curatorial practices that intervene in the objects, spaces and memories of these museums, Joanne Morra offers a fresh experience of the history and practice of psychoanalysis, of museums and contemporary art.

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