Man Hanging Out
What looks like a suicide in progress is actually a statue of Sigmund Freud
Dangling above one of the cobblestone streets in Prague’s Old Town is a statue that has caused more than a few people to be concerned that a man is about to plummet to his death, but fear not, it is simply a fake Sigmund Freud.
First created in 1996, the work known as ”Zavěšený muž” (“Man Hanging Out”) is the vision of Czech sculptor David Cerny, whose work can actually be found all across Prague. Many of Cerny’s works are seen as somewhat deliberately provocative, and this one is no different. The dangling Freud is surprisingly lifelike at a distance, and a number of people have sincerely taken it for a person in danger. However, it is simply a sculptural statement about intellectualism in the 20th century and Cerny’s uncertainty about it.
The piece, even if it was somewhat controversial, was still quite popular after its unveiling and was able to tour the world, being displayed in places ranging from London to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
However, the piece is back in Prague, hanging extended over a tight, historic street, causing passersby to look away from the ancient surrounds and take a look up to ponder the future. With luck, Freud won’t be coming down anytime soon, and neither will 20th-century intellectualism.