House/Museum Lecture at the Freud Museum, London
28 September 2011, 7pm
Dr Antony Hudek, Mellon Research Fellow at University College London will explore some of the thought-provoking issues around how homes, such as the Freud family home at 20 Maresfield Gardens, become museums.
When and how does a house become a museum – a ‘house museum’? How does this passage from one function to another affect the visitor’s experience? Taking Freud’s 1919 text Das Unheimliche (The Uncanny) as a point of departure, this presentation seeks to identify what subsists, what survives when a house turns into a museum; the ghosts of its former occupants, the archive (once a personal collection of papers, books, memorabilia), and a sense (reassuring or unsettling) of domesticity.
But Freud’s text does more than provide a useful guide to what lingers in the house museum, in particular his own. It plays out the paradox of the uncanny: that if the house museum, like the psychoanalytic text, depends on the veracity of its portrayal of the subjective matter it tries to exhibit/expose, it can only do so in the fractured guise of theatre and fiction, lest it fall prey to the very myths and fantasies its stated mission is to dispel.
Tickets: £10/£7 (concs.), to book: http://www.freud.org.uk/events/74291/talk-housemuseum/