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“My starting points were artless, worthless artefacts and materials – rubbish, discards, fragments, souvenirs, and reproductions – which seemed to carry an aura of memory and to hint they might mean something…” – Susan Hiller From the Freud Museum by artist Susan Hiller is an expanded version of an earlier installation produced by the artist. This earlier work was commissioned by publisher Book Works and was a response to The Freud Museum in North London, Sigmund Freud’s last home before his death. The installation originally consisted of 23 brown cardboard boxes, much like the collecting boxes used by archaeologists, laid out inside a vitrine, and installed in what was Freud’s bedroom. These boxes contained objects, photographs and texts from a variety of different sources – some had been in Hiller’s possession for a number of years whilst others were chanced upon or specifically sought out for the work. Hiller was interested in Freud’s museological collection of classical art, artefacts and books, both in the way they were categorised, but also in the way in which he used them for inspiration in his psychoanalysis. The centrepiece of Freud’s home is his study which is filled with his collection of antiquities – over 2000 items from Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Orient. On the desk where he would complete much of his later writing, stands a variety of idols such as Vishnu, Ptah and the Egyptian God Osiris. These figures gave stimulus for Freud to associate his ideas and establish metaphors for pyschoanalysis through archeology and myth, a different approach to how he would allow his patients to freely associate on the psychoanalysts couch. Hiller has also allowed herself to freely associate the objects she has selected. For example, in the box titled ‘Cowgirl’ a photocopied photograph of American outlaw Jennie Metcalf is paired with two white china creamers in the shape of cows. In her description of this pairing, Hiller has written “I never heard a woman called a cow until I came to England”. Here, history, myth, notoriety, objecthood, kitsch, craft, English culture and entymology come into association with each other, creating new meanings and interpretations. After the vitrine and contents were de-installed from The Freud Museum in 1994 Hiller developed the installation for the subsequent five years. The completed installation presented here contains approximately 50 boxes. From the Freud Museum was purchased for the Tate Collection in 1998 and was also re-presented at The Freud Museum in 1999–2000. From the Freud Museum, 1991–6 Susan Hiller Courtesy Tate

After the Freud Museum Susan Hiller








19 SOPHIA/wisdom Artists typology of religious practitioners; waters collected at four sacred sites, in antique bottles,

39 DEORA DE/God’s tears Photocopy of anonymously-altered library book page with Oscar Wilde quotation; dried fuschias, presented in 35 mm slide holder. Analysed, 1995

34 JOURNEY/jêr’ni Photocopy of engraving after rembrandt’s Moses from the Freud Museum, London, with catalogue entry; seven fossils collected by the artist in the desert near Mt. Sinai. Processed, 1994

49 HANDICRAFT/skill Image of hand performing psychometry; wooden rapping hand used in séances. Validated, 1994

27 RELEQUIA/relic Quotation from Walter Benjamin; artificial corsage, made in Soviet Zone of Germany, labeled and tagged. Remaindered, 1994

44 MENAGERIE/animal house Illustrated entry on Noah’s ark from Encyclopedia Brittanica, 4th edition; 16 plastic animals, found in pairs. Extracted, 1995

23 PROVENANCE/source Photocopy depicting African tribal art objects; miniature weapon bundle. Located, 1994

9 FÜRHER/guide Translation of introduction to book; Jüdische Geschichte und Literatur in Vergleichenden Zeittafeln, Julius Höxter, Frankfurt am Main 1935, containing charts and chronologies through that date; binding added by the artist. Bound, 1992

10 A’ SHIWI/native Photocopied poem from American primary schoolbook; Native American potsherds in polythene bags. Boxed, 1993

corked and sealed; tags with site names, etc. Sampled, 1993

12 FATLAND/fat land Photocopied photograph of Belfast street scene; earth collected by the artist in each of the six counties of Northern Ireland, in polythene bags, tagged. Addressed, 1993

25 OCCULT/hidden Text from the Winnebago Medecine Rite; four miniature masks, tagged. Portrayed, 1994

22 SÉANCE/seminar Photocopied engraving from Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae, 1671; miniature television monitor (LCD type) showing a programme by the artist entitled Bright Shadow. Edited, 1994


5 VIRGULA DIVINA/ water-witching Photocopy of artist’s notes on dowsing methods; artist’s hand-made divining rods; two pendulae, one hand-made. Displayed, 1991

4 SLAPSTICK/slaep’ stik Photocopied photograph; wooden slapstick; magnifying lens over British stamp

1 NAMA-MA/mother Photocopied diagram showing Uluru cave paintings; Australian native earths

6 CHAMIN-HA’/House of Knives Photocopy of Classic

11 EAUX-DE-VIE/Spirits Text by Robert Graves; water collected by the artist from the Lethe and Mnemosyne, in antique bottles, corked, sealed and tagged. Annotated, 1993

8 COWGIRL/kou’ gurl Photocopied photograph of American outlaw Jennie Metcalf; two china creamers in the form of cows. Collated, 1992


collected by the artist near Papunya, in cosmetic containers. Curated, 1991



45 S’LAMADI/retracing Polish text on the filming of Schindler’s List; objects gathered from the concentration camp set built near the actual site of Plastow camp. Attributed, 1996



Mayan calendar glyphs, numerals and day names; modern obsidian blades. Collected, 1992



Both shelves are labelled left to right. All boxes are made from customised cardboard and are labelled.










37 AMUSE/âmuz Ouija board instructions; miniaturised replica Ouija board with indicator. Diverted, 1995

40 MAR ALTA/rough sea Photocopy of two ‘rough sea’ postcards, one with Swedish Biblical quotation pertaining to sailors, one with Breton sailor’ legend; model boat with mother-ofpearl sails. Navigated, 1995

36 RANK/rang Illustrated poem from English children’s book; four bars of soap stamped “made in England”, in customised cardboard box (10 x 13.25 x 2.5’’), labeled Displaced, 1995

16 PÂINJENISUL SATANIE/ Satan’s cobweb Illustration showing ethnic cleansing photocopied from pamphlet, The Jewish Minority in Roumania: Correspondence with the Roumanian Government respecting the Greivances of the Jews, London, 1927, bound and indexed by the artist. Indexed, 1993

2 EUCH/prayer Photocopied map, tesserae and modern marble slab found at the entrance to

3 PANACEA/cure Photocopied newspaper advertisement; book entitled The Life Of Joanna Southcote, annotated and extended by the artist with photograph, flower and newspaper cutting; cover added by the artist. Filed, 1991



of Mr Punch. Realised, 1991

















42 EXTRA/beyond Texts explaining ESP; Zena cards, colour cards, dice, other materials used to

33 VISION/viz’hún Word definitions; Victorian medicine bottles, tagged, containing water from two eye wells; two eye amulets. Clarified, 1994

30 HERMANOS/brothers Photocopy illustrating Attic red-figure kylixkrater by Euphronius, 520–510 BC, showing twins Hypnos (Sleep) & Thanatos (Death) carrying a dead hero; two miniature plates, modern. Included, 1994

38 MAQUETTE/model Copy of magazine cover with attached acetate hair styler; three handpainted china doll’s heads. Designed, 1995 13 INITIATION/beginning Schematic plan of three ancient rivers; water collected by the artist form each, in antique bottles, corked, sealed and tagged. Assembled, 1993

35 (Baraka)/power Colour photocopy of postcard reproduction of painting entitled La mano ponderosa; hand talismans, tagged, from Egypt, North Africa, Mexico, etc. Researched, 1995

48 MANTIS/prophet Excerpt from House of Lords UFO debate; praying mantis in miniature glass coffin. Manifested, 1996

test ESP abilities in individual subjects. Practiced, 1995

24 REX/king Quotation from Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex; olive oil soap,

17 LA PESTE/plague Photocopied AIDS statistic; photograph under Perspex showing the artist and typical London memento mori of the Great Plague. Compiled, 1993

Masterpeice & Family Physician,etc.; ten toy chins cups, excavated in London, 19th century English. Represented, 1994



28 INTERIOR/in teer’ I or Photocopy of engraving showing Lanzarote’s volcanic eruption; samples of ores and crystals produced from the interior, collected by the artist. Explored, 1994

41 REGENERATE/born again Chart of ancient European alphabets; nine egg shaped objects in various materials (clay, wood, alabaster, marble, papier-mâché, etc.) Witnessed, 1995

26 LUNES/moons Colour photocopy illustrating human pregnancy in ten phases, from Aristotle’s

21 (simchas)/joy Artist’s classification of box contents; 36 35mm, slides mounted, each reproducing a glass slide found in the Freud Museum, London (previously uncatalogued). Classified, 1991



the underworld near Vathia. Presented, 1991




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50 EXCHANGE/reciprocate Quotation from Mediums of Transformation by Issa Samb, three

31 SEQUAH/prairie flower Excerpt from Little House on the Prairie; 19th century cologne bottle, American, with raised lettering, containing dried violet. Found, 1994

7 KONOIDIA/comedy Photocopy of Victorian illustration with poem; modern English toy; two slide viewers with one replica magic lantern slide each. Organised, 1992

18 PLIGHT/plite Collage of texts about sandpainting and modern art; modern sandpainting. Registered, 1993

14 MOROR/bitter Photocopied illustration form book; two books modified by the artist; Essai D’Ethnographie Traditionelle des Mellahs, etc., Elie Malka, Morocco, n.d. and Juifs et Arabes, Salamon D. Gottein, Paris 1957. Labelled, 1993

15 A_HS/Hades Photocopied photograph taken near the Necromanteion of Ephyra, ancient oracle of the dead and sanctuary of Persephone and Hades; water collected by the artist from the river Acheron, in chemical flask, sealed and tagged. Surveyed, 1993

sunflower seeds, sea salt obtained by the artist near the site of Laius’ murder. Positioned, 1994



43 ILLUMINATION/ enlightenment Excerpt from The Symbolic Anglo-French Vocabulary, illustrating types of lighting; four light bulbs with filaments in the shape of religious symbols. Situated, 1995

47 BRIDE/mariée Text by Marcel Duchamp; commemorative sweet, five miniature letterboxes, two miniature postal vans. Finalised, 1996

29 LANGUES/tongues Photocopy of page from Indian Sign Language (1929), by William Tomkins aka Wambali Wi Uts; flint projectile points, modern. Acquired, 1994

32 SOUVENIR/reminder Colour photocopy of postcard showing Winged Victory of Sanothrace; make-up containers with earthernware & marble fragments from the Santuary of the Great Gods, Samothraki. Fitted, 1994

transparent purses with shell toothpicks. Rated, 1996

20 HEIMLICH/homely Photocopy illustrating Breton angel of death; 45 rpm record of Johnny Ray singing Look Homeward, Angel. Referenced, 1994

46 GDZIE/where Tourist map of Wieliczka salt mine with site of former slave labour camp added; three types of salt sold as souvenirs. Preserved, 1993

From the Freud Museum  
From the Freud Museum  

From the Freud Museum