The unconscious in everyday life
The Science Museum, London, 13 October 2010 – 15 April 2011

The unconscious pervades every aspect of our life. It shapes concealed conflicts and repressed desires. Psychoanalysis: The Unconscious in Everyday Life explores psychoanalysis and its contribution to contemporary culture through the themes of play, object relations and the uncanny. The exhibition brings some of the manifestations of the unconscious to light in unexpected and innovative ways through historical and contemporary artefacts. The visitor is invited to play a key role in teasing hidden associations and unconscious meanings some of which are unravelled by the voice of leading psychoanalysts.

The exhibition features a wealth of artefacts from collections at the Science Museum, the Wellcome library, and the Freud Museum. Notable objects include a selection of ancient Greek and Roman antiquities from part of Freud’s collection and which surrounded the psychoanalyst in his consulting room; a selection of drawings from one of Melanie Klein’s most famous case studies – on display for the first time; bodily casts from the Science Museum store-room and a rich array of everyday things old and new, including fashionable stiletto shoes, a digital camera and disturbing cutting implements.

Contemporary artworks inspired by psychoanalytical ideas by artists Joseph Kosuth, Arnold Dreyblatt, Mona Hatoum, Grayson Perry, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Carlo Zanni, Kristian de la Riva, Sonny Sanjay Vadgama, Amelie von Harrach and Damian Le Sueur punctuate the exhibition adding to the unravelling of the unconscious and to the encounter with our innermost feelings.

A catalogue with contributions by leading psychoanalysts complements the exhibition, see

Exhibition curated by Dr Caterina Albano, Artakt, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London for the Science Museum and supported by the Institute of Psychoanalysis.