29 September 2004 - 7 November 2004
Julian Rothenstein and Mel Gooding
PsychoRoom: Not the Freud Museum
In fitting synchronicity, this even coincided with the Hayward Gallery’s ‘Eyes, Lies and Illusions’ exhibition – but was much more interesting. Julian Rothenstein and Mel Gooding’s Psycho-Room displayed a treasure trove of psychodiagnostic tests and games, bringing together items from the Wellcome depository of the Science Museum, donated art works, and specially constructed exhibition panels. The objects were designed to be creatively engaged with, and an informative pack of cards (the PsychoBox) is still available to buy from the museum shop. Drawing completion tasks, personality tests, thematic apperception tests and psychological games revealed glimpses of a 20th century psychology that intersects with psychoanalysis at many points. Visual illusions show us that the human mind continually constructs theories about the world – a fundamental Freudian proposition – while multi-phasic personality inventories were explicitly based on analytic ideas. The exhibition was a huge hit with the public and students alike and was reviewed in The Times, The Independent and (brilliantly) by Peter Blegvad on Radio 3’s arts programme The Verb. Visitor numbers increased by an impressive 35% during the show.