Martha Todd


The Sarcophagus of Lun Freud

Reunion, Homely, Rest

MG: The figure of the dog keeps occurring in your work, can you explain how it links to Freud?

Freud had a strong connection with dogs. His favourite dog Jofi attended many of his patient’s therapy sessions. He believed dogs had an insight into the patient’s personality, and trusted their instinctive reactions to a person. Lun was the dog that came over to England with Freud. Along with the trauma of escaping Vienna during the war the dog was put into quarantine. Not long after Lun’s reunion with Freud, the dog would not go near him due to the gangrenous wound on Freud’s jaw as a result of his cancer.

In Freud’s essay ‘The Uncanny’ he mentions the heimlich (or homely) in animals being tame and companiable to man. Therefore Lun was at this time unheimlich (unhomely), untamed and un-companiable to man. Freud also spoke about the Unheimlich being “that class of the frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar.” I wanted to put Lun into the afterlife with Freud, reuniting their companionship and reinstating a feeling of Heimlich.