For I am actually not at all a man of science, not an observer, not an experimenter, not a thinker. I am by temperament nothing but a conquistador-an adventurer, if you want it translated-with all the curiosity, daring, and tenacity characteristic of a man of this sort.

Freudfrom letter to Fliess, 1900.

The starting point of the exhibition is the rug covering Freud’s couch, which together with the couch has become a metonymy for psychoanalysis itself – its history, praxis, cultural function and its critique; it has gained an iconic status that long ago surpassed its original function. As an object and interior element, the couch has oriental provenance, while the rug has nomadic characteristics: it originates and exists in the realm of nomadism. Nomadism does not only apply to physical movement, but also to mental processes (self-analysis).

The exhibition also problematizes the geography (and history) of the Balkans through Freud, an atypical (dual) representative of the Western gaze on the Balkans, and through his theories that were formed at the end of the 19th century and have had important implications throughout the 20th century and up to the present. After his return from the Balkans in 1898, Freud perceived himself as a conqueror and psychoanalysis as a campaign, and a successful conquest is always understood in terms of value and profit.

Dr. Mariela Cvetić is an artist and art theorist, and Associate Professor at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture. She is the author of 14 solo exhibitions and many group exhibitions, as well as a substantial number of art books. She was selected to represent the Republic of Serbia on the 11th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2008. Among her recent projects is the group exhibition “Actopolis – Art of Action”, that was organized by the Goethe-Institute from 2015 to 2018. Additionally, she organized student exhibitions at the Faculty of Architecture. She is the author of the books, Das Unheimliche: Psychoanalitical and Cultural Theories of Space [Das Unheimliche: psihoanalitičke i kulturalne teorije prostora, 2011] and The Artist’s Book[Umetnikova knjiga, 2013]. Her artistic practice and theoretical work explore the relationship between subject and space.