D.hat really sounds like a temptation – “Freud Fetish”. This is what the Neue Galerie on Fifth Avenue in New York calls the current offer in its opulent gift shop. The “Museum for German and Austrian Art of the Early Twentieth Century” has come up with a very special compilation, nicely packaged. True lovers’ hearts must open and with them their wallets at a price of 537 dollars.
Editor in the features section, responsible for the “art market”.
But the ensemble has three convincing components. First there are Sigmund Freud’s sunglasses, more precisely glasses with dark green lenses based on the model he once wore. The frame is, precious enough, handmade from tortoiseshell by a fine optician. There is also a Freud glasses case, made by the traditional Viennese company R. Horn’s for exclusive leather goods which, according to their philosophy, are committed to “the aesthetic understanding of the work of Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos and the Wiener Werkstätte”. So it fits perfectly, hand-sewn from brown calfskin and authorized by the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna.
Relationships with the unconscious
What is so far more noble knickknacks, is carried by the all-important educational aspect, in the form of a 973-page edition of the “Basic Writings” of the father of psychoanalysis: “On the Psychopathology of Everyday Life”, “The Interpretation of Dreams”, “Three Treatises on Sexual Theory” , “The joke and its relationship to the unconscious”, “Totem and taboo” and “On the history of the psychoanalytic movement”. The whole thing in the English translation by Abraham Arden Brill and in full length, of course. Those who inhale these texts are first served with the noble intention of grasping their content, which, according to the not entirely new promise, “has profoundly influenced our understanding of human behavior”.
It is very possible that the New York Museum has thought of any current interpretations of the inventor of the science of the soul with the exquisite gift package. If necessary, the treatise “On the introduction of narcissism” from 1914 should have been added. Even so, reading the “Basic Writings” should be enlightening when looking at some works of art and their history in the Neue Galerie. This applies not least to Gustav Klimt’s portrait “Adele Bloch-Bauer I”, famous as the “Golden Adele”, which forms a centerpiece there. The landlord Ronald Lauder bought the painting by the great Viennese artist of the fin de siècle in 2006 for 135 million dollars. As a passionate collector, Lauder might even agree, it could be called a veritable “Klimt Fetish”. Whereby one finally, free association, involuntarily comes to mind Freud’s little writing from 1927, which takes a little getting used to, which is simply called “Fetishism”. That it is missing in the great Freud compendium is quite right; the path to knowledge leads even with the master over many a stony path. And he probably wouldn’t have really liked “Freud Fetish” where he couldn’t get along with America itself.
But that doesn’t matter, the idea of the museum is still full of wit, including its relationship to the unconscious. Freud’s cynical Viennese contemporary Karl Kraus put the matter of fetishism very simply as follows: “There is no more unhappy being under the sun than a fetishist who longs for a lady’s slipper and has to make do with a whole woman.” , please, prefer those dark glasses à la Sigmund Freud to read his enlightened texts in the bright sun.