Digging the unconscious

9 Aug 2015

Regular hours

12:00 – 17:00

Cost of entry

Free with admission - £7/£5/£4

Save Event: Digging the unconscious

I've seen this

People who have saved this event:


Freud Museum

England, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Finchley Road
  • Nearest tube: Finchley Road, 5 min walk from Museum
  • Finchley Road & Frognal , 5 min walk from Museum
Directions via Google Maps Directions via Citymapper
Event map

Small-scale participatory archaeological dig in Sigmund Freud's garden.


'The psychoanalyst, like the archaeologist, must uncover layer after layer of the patient's psyche, before coming to the deepest, most valuable treasures'. Sigmund Freud.

In the closing sequence of ‘Totemic Smoke’ 2013, performance artist lili Spain stands facing the door at 20 Maresfield Garden; bucket, spade and cigar in hand, having returned from a “grand tour” of Egypt, journeyed on Freud’s behalf. The work marked the centenary of publication of Freud’s seminal work, ‘Totem and Taboo’.

In 2015, she returns to mark a new centenary – the publication of Freud’s paper ‘The Unconscious’, this time stepping over the threshold and through to the garden, where she will host a small-scale archaeological dig.

Visitors are invited to join lili in digging and sieve through the layers of dirt, searching for clues to past/forgotten times, in this, Sigmund Freud’s final home.

Trowels, sieves, brushes and gloves provided. Could get a little messy, so dress accordingly.

lili Spain is an artist living and working in London. Starting from a sculptural sensibility her artwork encompasses a diverse range of media, including installation, film and performance. She uses found objects and text to develop imagined, mythical histories that are obsessively reworked to form hybrid art pieces, using elements of ritual, repetition and exploration of 'self'. The resulting works are often both unsettling and absurd.

She draws reference from mythology, personal history and psychoanalysis.

 Part of an exciting season of talks, events and conferences accompanying the exhibition ‘The Festival of the Unconscious’ 24 June- 4 October 2015.

What to expect? Toggle

Exhibiting artistsToggle

lili Spain


Have you been to this event? Share your insights and give it a review below.