Zbigniew Kosc
house of Sigmund Freud
Wien Beggasse 19

photography Zbigniew Kosc ©

special thanks to The Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna
Sal Shuel, London
Erik Fliek & Amsterdams Grafisch Atelier

all rights reserved
Amsterdam 2010

Zbigniew Kosc

other projects by Zbigniew Kosc home

mail to z.kosc@chello.nl

In the fall of 1891, Sigmund Freud moved to a new apartment in the heart of Vienna on Berggasse 19. He lived and practiced for nearly 47 years in the same place and in 1924 had been proclaimed an honorary citizen of Vienna. Hitler’s “Anschlus” of Austria had induced the 82-year-old Freud to seek refuge first in Paris and eventually in London, where he died in 1939.

The five-story building, erected about 120 years ago in mock- Baroque style, continues to house private tenants and shops as it did in Freud's time. The door to the building, unchanged in 50 years, is marked with the colors of the city, red and white. The Freuds lived in two adjoining apartments on the second floor, which together comprised a dozen rooms and plenty of service space. Here in the small office, Freud would receive his patients, and do the work that would at last bring him fame.

Bergaasse 19 is now a museum dedicated to him. The memorabilia in the hall and in the former waiting room, office and library provide a panorama of Freud's life. A cabin trunk in the hall accompanied the Freuds when they left Vienna in 1938. Nearby is a battered travelling bag with the initials S. F. Freud's walking stick, hat and cap are hanging on hooks.

In Freud's apartment I have been trying to capture traces of the former inhabitants. The series of 18 images show the results of my exploration. I looked through the windows, searching for things which would have been familiar to the Freud eyes. I tried to recapture the past residing in his belongings, in all these personal items which had not been used for a very long time. Inspecting them closely – photographs, documents, Freud’s archaeological collection - I was able to find only vague shadows of their former life. It was these shadows which attracted my attention, not the objects themselves which are dead forever. In my fantasies I assumed that these shadows could be seen by Freud in a similar way and I finally decided to photograph them as the only existing reality. In the process of this creation my consciousness and unconsciousness were working together.