Keywords: psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, Edmund Engelman, Berggasse 19, exile, loss, photography, Freud’s couch,

art, Vienna

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After Engelman


two-channel video installation

In April 1938, on the eve of Sigmund Freud’s exile from Vienna where he had lived and practiced for 47 years, photographer Edmund Engelman was solicited to document the birthplace of psychoanalysis. Seventy-five years later, Lin + Lam return to Freud’s former house at Berggasse 19, taking Engelman’s record of the past as its frame for the present. Replicating Engelman's photographs with an attention to the present conditions of what is now the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, their video occupies the distance between present and past. Their project considers how 20th century forms of mediation and memory-work such as psychoanalysis, photography, and architecture are constructed through war and exile. While the famed Freudian artifacts, including the psychoanalytic couch and massive antiquity collection, are permanently housed in London where Freud and his immediate family escaped, the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna is characterized by absence. After Engelman investigates what remains in this evacuated space that continues to lure visitors from all over the world, and what meaning it holds for the history of the living present.