Anna’s Room

Susan Finlay, our Writer in Residence, with the seventh of her textual vignettes prompted by objects in Freud's collection.

Anna's Room Susan Finlay

So, this is Vienna.

The room that surrounds this photograph is a reconstruction of Vienna, but this photograph, and that photograph are Vienna: a quick, shutter click and then a darkroom waltz between the negative and the developer, a further improvisation, or variation on the theme…

This is a woman’s Vienna (a woman who is not a construct (in this context (which is practice-based)))-

Now that’s a very modern – as opposed to contemporary – tangle of-


That’s a tangle of-


That’s wound up someone’s daughter-


That’s still hung-up on the crumpled-up-now-smoothed-out buts of paper, and going back and forth between them.

And that’s his daughter’s Vienna, woven into her father’s Vienna, their London, and then back and forth again.

And that’s her dead father, in Vienna, watching over her, or rather her couch, which is to say her patients’ dreams or wishes…

This is a tapestry. A thread. A threadbare memory of something.


Susan Finlay is the Freud Museum’s new Writer-in-Residence. Over the next six months she will be using objects from Freud’s collection as associative prompts through which to write about her own, real and fictitious memories. She will produce a series of photographic and textual vignettes.  Some of these will be featured on the blog, and some will be used as the basis for an alternative audio guide. The guide will be read by Sharon Kivland and Lara Pawson, and available to download as an MP3.

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