As a part of my plan to visit museums I have never been to in London, especially smaller collections, I went to the Freud Museum at the end of July. I had heard that contemporary artists have been invited to intervene in the space and collection at Freud’s house in London. During my visit I was also impressed by the wolf paintings made by Freud’s patient Sergei Pankejeff years after he had been after a significant patient of Freud who had used his dream of the wolves in his research. Pankejeff had a recurring dream as a child of 6 or 7 wolves sitting in a tree outside his bedroom. The paintings which were made many years later have only 5 wolves in the tree but I found them very compelling and arresting as images. I am not sure if this is due to their naivety or the content as significant dreams, something that Freud obviously expanded on and which gives them a kind of power.
Mark Wallinger’s intervention in Freud’s last house in London where he lived as an exile for the last year of his life. Wallinger has covered the wall above the therapist’s couch with mirrors and plays with the role of the therapist of reflecting the client’s mind on itself. This mirror above the couch creates an illusion of space and light above us all. It also give the room an amazing verticality. I have not been in the room without the mirrors but the reflection is very powerful. The action of the window cleaner feels like a task which is complimentary to the work of the therapy/patient. The reflection of the couch alluding to the ‘magical’ effect of therapy.