The Freud Museum

Exhibition Archive

6 December 2007 - 28 February 2008

Sharon Kivland

Freud Dreams of Rome

An exhibition of 11 prints from Freud on Holiday

“Thought is after all nothing but a substitute for a hallucinatory wish …”

Sharon Kivland’s prints above the stairwell at the Freud Museum show us a Rome we have never seen before. Or one we never consciously recognized. These are views of a city any tourist might see – but she has captured them empty of human activity, as if there were night scenes in broad daylight. These empty arches and cryptic doorways indicate a concealed life.

When Freud arrived in Rome for the first time in 1901 he already been dreaming of the city for many years. Dream are wish-fulfillments. In the Interpretation of Dreams, four dreams expressed his still unfulfilled longing for Rome. In each of them, his dream view of the city is curiously distorted – his “Rome” is set in Alpine scenery or full of German posters.

Freud’s dream Rome was an unreal city, made up of his fears, wishes, scraps of memory from the previous day. Sharon Kivland’s Rome is the real city, but this place is an expression of the hidden activities of the mind.

These 11 prints are part of Sharon Kivlands’ Freud on Holiday: Volume 1 - Freud Dreams of Rome (Information as Material, York, 2006) which is available from the museum shop.

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