04/15/2024, 20:46, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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Here’s not looking at you, kid

Event: Freud Museum LONDON: Invitation to Frequent the Shadows
Author: Kai Hammermeister


We thirst not to be overlooked. It should make us whole and healthy, to be looked at. Perhaps with admiration about how well we preserve, how strong we stand and how we walk away with our head held high. And simultaneously we are scared of any look that leaves us frozen, fixed on our place and leaves us feeling alone and plunged into an isolation that is the rigidity of death. Against such glances we wear our amulets, clothing, gestures, and dark glasses. Not to be looked at while on the couch of the analyst, frees us from the evil eye and allows us to transition from the world of images to the increasingly liberating talk.

In the consultation room of Anna Freud in London's Hampstead a frieze currently runs on the ceiling around the room. Countless pairs of eyes from women look down, one cannot recognize whole faces, only ever new looks. The narrow band is part of an installation of the Londoner photographer Bettina von Zwehl that emerged from an intensive study of the archive of Anna Freud. Gently, yet insistent, casual, but saturated with the fear of death, so von Zwehl brings the imaginary back into the rooms where talk has repeatedly marked the triumph over the Medusa. Do we really want to be looked at as demonstrated by the pairs of eyes on the ceiling? I would like to lay down on the couch and just begin to talk, submit an appeal against this intrusion into the protected, sightless sphere of analysis. The word, the word, the word should govern here, not the eye....

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