Thursday 29th July 2015
Parlour Symbolique explored the idea of the house as embodiment the psyche, detached from the domestic sphere and immersed in the symbolic. The event highlighted the house as mind through an oneiric series of glimpses, whispers, and veiled echoes evoking the fantasies and explorations which have etched themselves invisibly into its walls. Freud’s presence and thought sits at the centre of this uncanny tapestry like a camera obscura; reflecting strange echoes of memory which haunt the space. Parlour Symbolique presented new site-specific works from eleven contemporary live artists that engaged with these aspects of the house, its history, and Freud’s thinking.
The Freud Museum, at 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead, was the home of Sigmund Freud and his family when they escaped Austria following the Nazi annexation in 1938. It remained the family home until Anna Freud, the youngest daughter, died in 1982. The centrepiece of the museum is Freud’s study, preserved just as it was during his lifetime.
It contains Freud’s remarkable collection of antiquities: Egyptian; Greek; Roman and Oriental. Almost 2,000 items fill cabinets and are arranged on every surface. There are rows of ancient figures on the desk where Freud wrote until the early hours of the morning. The walls are lined with shelves containing Freud’s large library.