Metro is delighted to work with Bettina von Zwehl on her latest project, ‘Invitation to Frequent the Shadows’ which responds to the archive of pioneering child psychoanalyst, Anna Freud. The work quietly infiltrates the stairwell, study and upstairs room of the museum and comprises delicate, small silhouettes of a young girl, shadowy portraits of women and an immersive light installation.
This project curated by Clare Grafik forms part of the museum’s 30th anniversary celebrations and is an extension of von Zwehl’s previous residency at the museum from 2013 to 2014 and her extensive research and reflection on the life and legacy of Anna Freud, youngest daughter of Sigmund Freud.
Fifty framed fragments of the same profile of the same six-year old girl are dispersed across the walls surrounding the central staircase of the Museum. ‘The Sessions’ (2016) collectively refers to a psychoanalytic session and the time von Zwehl spent taking the young girl’s portrait, as well as the artist’s many sessions in the darkroom preparing and shaping the photographic paper as she sought the essence of both image and subject.
Von Zwehl evokes a startling transformation of the visually complex space of Sigmund Freud’s study, with ‘Safelight’ (2016). Illuminated by a dark red glow, the room takes on a new atmosphere, alluding perhaps to the ‘safelight’ of the photographic darkroom or the functionality of vision itself.
Additionally in one of the upstairs rooms, inspired by Anna Freud’s lifetime of close female friendships, von Zwehl presents ‘Laments’ (2014) - three portraits, presented as Duratrans prints
as bespoke made lightboxes
, from a series of fifteen black and white compositions of individual silhouetted female form.