Wunderblock, 2019


Wunderblock is a solo exhibition of new work, commissioned for the Freud Museum London, which draws on original research into the post-war fascination with the infant mind by the Hidden Persuaders Project, Birkbeck University, supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Unfolding across the museum, Smith’s exhibition turns the complex history of debate about nature and nurture, benign and malign influences over the child, on its head to consider the child as hidden persuader. Set in a context of growing concern around the mental health of children and young people, the exhibition raises consideration of the status of children in our society.

Works include World Play – an immersive installation and observation chamber based on the perspective of the child, Milk-Tongue – a vocal lullaby of parentese, The First Object in the World – a chewable sculpture, adding to Freud’s own collection of artefacts, based on the transitional object of the child, and ABC – an alphabetic frieze detailing children’s influence over the adult world, as well as interventions into the museum collection and architecture with a selection of Freud’s objects relating to the child installed on his desk and a secret child sized doorway between the museum and private residence of the house.

Wunderblock was curated by Rachel-Fleming Mulford.