Inside the Freud Museums: History, Memory and Site-Responsive Art - Book presentation by Joanne Morra
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.
Joanne Morra is Reader in Art History and Theory at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Committed to an understanding of the material, personal, historical, and political aspects of art, Joanne is concerned with the processes that take place in the spaces of artistic, cultural and psychoanalytic practices; specifically, the studio, the study, the classroom, the museum, and the consulting room. In addition to her book Inside the Freud Museums: History, Memory and Site-responsive Art, she has also published the following: ‘The Work of Research: Remembering, Repeating and Working-through’, in What is Research in the Visual Arts? Obsession, Archive, Encounter (2008); the curatorial project Saying It (Freud Museum London 2012); ‘On Use: Art Education and Psychoanalysis’, Journal of Visual Culture (April 2017), and ‘Being in Analysis: On the Intimate Art of Transference’, Journal of Visual Art Practice (November 2017). She is working on her next book, In the Studio and On the Couch: Art, Autobiography and Psychoanalysis.