“Temporarily Accessioned: Freud’s Coat Revisited” was the exhibition at Freud’s Museum by the artist and researcher Paul Coldwell. The most captivating for me was the image of Freud’s coat in a life scale, produced by means of x-ray. The x-ray of the coat Freud wore when he migrated to London was taken at the National Gallery. Paul Coldwell created a life-sized image of the coat, piecing together the x-rays to reveal the story underneath the surface – a psychoanalysis of his coat. In the x-ray you can see Anna Freud’s plastic rain hat and travel tickets in the pockets (Anna Freud often wore the coat after her father died).
Although the exhibition was mainly dedicated to Freud as forced migrant, to me this ghostly image of the garment once inhabited by the body (or bodies) was the most haunting one. Using Xray to portray the thinker of the subconcious through his coat is an exceptionally successful idea.
Equally I am fascinated by aesthetic of the image. I think that creating image with electromagnetic waves is fascinating and can be considered as extended photography. I would like to use this technique as means of visual research into the prom dress to create one of possible images of it. I trust it lends itself perfectly into aesthetics of absence.
Also the title - “temporarily accessioned” - is most profound. It might indicate that the coat is the prime subject only to be temporarily “accessed” by its human wearer, as well as I presume was intended to indicate that we might only gain temporary access into someone”s inner self.