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The Couch – Icon of Psychoanalysis


With his project "The Couch" media artist Markus Brenner won the fourth competition "Discovery of urban space" of the Art Commission Kreuzlingen (CH). Central subject of his work is Sigmund Freud’s couch, a cultural icon representing psychoanalysis itself.

From 1857 to 1980 Kreuzlingen, Switzerland's largest city on Lake Constance, was home to a psychiatric hospital at the Bellevue site. Ludwig Binswanger, director of the sanatorium, had a lifelong friendship with Sigmund Freud. Famous patients were guests at the Bellevue, as well as Anna O. (Bertha Pappenheim), the first patient to be treated according to the psychoanalytic method. Freud himself visited the Bellevue in 1912.

In Bellevue Park "The Couch" is sculpture and a place to rest during the day. A pillow shows the imprint of a person as if someone had just laid his head there. In the dark “The Couch” becomes a projection screen. A PHOS 45 LED projector is mounted at a height of five meters on a pole. The projected image of Freud’s original Oriental carpet turns the couch into a place of psychoananlytic practice. Who lays down in the dark merges with the projected image and becomes part of the sculpture.


Bellevue Park
8280 Kreuzlingen, Switzerland

City of Kreuzlingen

Markus Brenner
Constance, Germany

concrete work:
GODELMANN Manufaktur

projection system:
1 x PHOS 45 pole mount

Markus Brenner (1, 6)
Thomas Meier-Löpfe (2, 3, 4, 5)