The most intimate aspects of the human subject are unconscious. This symposium examines the ways in which this material becomes the basis for contemporary art, critical writing and the dynamics of the consulting room. The speakers will provide a number of perspectives on the relationship between gender, the unconscious and intimacy. As well as first hand accounts from contemporary artists there will be a new reading of Marlene Dumas’ intimate art practice. The psychoanalytic process of ‘patient presentation’ will be examined, as well as how the process of being in analysis becomes inadvertently manifest when artists exhibit their work in the Freud Museum.
This symposium is hosted in collaboration with the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design research project Intimacy Unguarded, which examines the personal as material in contemporary art and writing
Joanne Morra-Autobiographical Fiction: Encountering Anna Freud and Melanie Klein Inside the Freud Museum
In 1989 the Freud Museum London hosted its first contemporary art exhibition. There have been over 75 shows since then. Having art inside the Freud Museum is a form of ‘site-responsivity’, wherein the artwork and site respond to and activate one another in unexpected ways. One of the most interesting forms of site-responsive art in the context of the Freud Museum is work that gestures towards the autobiographical. Eliciting a form of ‘autobiographical fiction’, such intimate (fictional) moments exposed by the artist through the artwork become re-framed. The artist and artwork enter a psychoanalytic setting. In doing so, the artistic interventions provide us with some fundamental moments within psychoanalytic practice. This talk considers two exhibitions that, intriguingly, turn away from Sigmund Freud and move towards two female analysts. Alice Anderson’s work and exhibition relies on the process of repetition as a means of ‘fictionalizing’ and letting go of childhood anxieties. While, the curation of the Louise Bourgeois show, and the work included in it produces a form of Kleinian acting out.
Joanne Morra is Reader in Art History and Theory at Central Saint Martins. She has published widely on modern and contemporary art. One of her main interests has been in understanding the potential alliances between singular spaces of practice and what occurs within them – the studio, the study, the gallery/museum, and the consulting room. Her forthcoming book is Inside the Freud Museums: History, Memory and Site-Responsive Art (I.B. Tauris, 2016). She is the co-organiser with Emma Talbot of the research project Intimacy Unguarded.
Emma Talbot-Unravel These Knots
Unravel These Knots’, a one-person exhibition by Emma Talbot at The Freud Museum London, runs concurrently with this Intimacy Unguarded event. Using the same title, this paper will discuss the work in the exhibition, in terms of the process of thinking, making and installation. Talbot will explore the underlying themes of autobiography, psychological representation and non-linear narratives that form the basis her work. She will open out the context for the work in relation to two of Freud’s studies The Interpretation of Dreams and Screen Memories as well as other key references and will discuss the ways these texts informed her practice.
Emma Talbot is an artist based in London. Her work is featured in two recent Thames and Hudson publications 100 Painters Of Tomorrow and Drawing People. Recent one-person exhibitions include Step Inside Love at Domobaal London, and Memories Turn To Dusk at Petra Rinck Galerie, Dusseldorf. Her work is included in the forthcoming Comic Tragics at The Art Gallery Of Western Australia. She is represented by DomoBaal, London and Petra Rinck Galerie, Dusseldorf. Emma is a Senior Lecturer at CSM and co-organiser (with Dr Joanne Morra) of the research project Intimacy Unguarded.
Diana Caine and Denis Echard-Staging the Unconscious: La Présentation de malades
The patient presentation (‘présentation de malades’) is a roughly hour-long interview of a psychiatric hospital’s inpatient by a Lacanian psychoanalyst before an audience of experienced analysts and psychoanalytic trainees. Although patient presentations take place in Psychiatry and other medical disciplines in the UK, it is not part of training in psychoanalysis here, whereas in France it is considered essential.
Regardless of their formal psychiatric diagnosis the patients are in the hospital because their lives have become untenable, precarious, at risk, and they have an account to make of what has happened to them and how they see their circumstances. They formally and voluntarily agree to come and participate in the interview.
The narrative as it unfolds, as unpredictable as it always is, allows something else to be heard, something strikingly other and psychically telling, as to how that person comes to be in this precarious and terrible situation.
Thus this raises the question of how one is listening, and what is it one is listening for, in the multiple layers of discourse of someone whose story is completely unknown but which unfolds through words – sometimes too readily, sometimes hardly at all. As such, from a training perspective, sustained each session by theoretical development, it is a serious preparation to the psychoanalytic encounter with patients.
This is not art, this is not a performance, yet it is a staging that lets something unconscious emerge. With the support of some material from such interviews we want to bring something of this experience into the frame of the Freud Museum and to invite the audience to perhaps become a new chorus to the telling: what does the patient’s speech become for an audience in a different place?
Diana Caine is a consultant neuropsychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist at the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery
Denis Echard is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice
Barbara Visser-Adventures beyond the intellect
Barbara Vissers’ Manual Series is an artistic research project, which addresses different forms of psychological (self-) help since the beginning of the 20th century in a playful, critical and confrontational manner.
In this paper, Visser will elaborate on three different endeavours in this realm and show excerpts from these chapters: starting with a radical translation of a best-selling American self-help book; moving on to autobiographical fiction though the file of Client 8034; and then will share footage recently recorded at the Psychological Event Lab at the University of Barcelona developing radical experiments with body and mind perception by using VR (virtual reality) techniques to influence our inner voice.
Manual/1: Stop thinking, start living
Manual/2: Client 8034
Manual/3: Being Sigmund Freud
Barbara Visser studied photography and audiovisual arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the Cooper Union in New York and the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. From 1992onwards her work is shown internationally.
Barbara Vissers’ work focuses on cultural and historical narratives and the form in which they become manifest through art, design, media and behaviour. Using photography, film, text and performance, her practice addresses the uncertain relationship between registration and dramatization, and plays with notions of authentic and constructed realities. By challenging existing modes of storytelling and image-making and questioning our memory and belief systems, Visser aims to provoke a new perception of what normality has rendered invisible.
She often collaborates with other creative practices, and is currently the chair of the Royal Netherlands Society for the Arts.
Visser has participated in the Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2006), Manifesta, Trento, Italy (2008), Architecture Biennale, Dutch Pavillion, Venice, Italy (2010), Art Biennale, Dutch Pavillion group show (2011). In 2011 and 12 she’s written and directed the film C.K. (2012). Awards for her work include the Dutch Cultural Media Fund Documentary Award (2010), the dr. A. H. Heineken Award for art and science (2008) , David Roell Prize 2007 from the Prins Bernhard Foundation (2007). Since 2014 she is appointed as a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts. She is represented by Annet Gelink Gallery in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Sadie Murdoch – Your Eyes are My Hands
In ‘Your Eyes are My Hands’, Sadie Murdoch will discuss her solo exhibition SSS-MM, at the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zürich, curated by Sabine Schaschl, and her forthcoming publication, Omnipulsepunslide, a project with Artphilein Editions.
‘Your Eyes are My Hands’, a sentence from Omnipulsepunslide, refers to the artist’s approach to image-making.Through re- imagining and re-staging she re-routs and resists a gaze which positions the female subject as image and object. The rebellious female body, self-representation and self-fashioning are explored through archival material which is submitted to processes of elision and re-assembly, to generate new symbolic economies. Murdoch’s re-interpretation of images, objects and texts by women involved in the New York and Zürich Dada movement constitutes an intimate practice of ‘inhabiting’ the archive.
Sadie Murdoch is an artist living and working in London. She considers the way in which photographic archives can be interpreted through re-staging and re-making, and proposes that the codes and conventions of ‘Modernism’ and ‘modernity’ emerge from the repression of subversive counter-narratives, of gender, power and desire.
Sadie received her MA in Painting from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 1990 and her PhD from Leeds Metropolitan University in 1999 and was a participant in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program in New York from 2003-2004. She is currently represented by the Roberto Polo Gallery in Brussels, and has had solo exhibitions at The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, The Agency Gallery, London and the Apartment Gallery in Athens, Greece. She was included in Ballet Mécanique, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, Spectral Metropole, V�igalica Gallery, City Museum of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2012) and Modern Shorts, New Museum, New York. Sadie is presently a Lecturer on the MFA Fine Art course, Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Griselda Pollock – The Missing Wit(h)ness: Monroe, Fascinance and the Unguarded Intimacy of Being Dead
Since Anthony Summers first published the post-post-mortem photograph of Marilyn Monroe in his Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, (1985) as part of the tendency to challenge her death as suicide, several painters have taken up this derelict photograph, including Margaret Harrison and latterly Marlene Dumas. We know from Barthes the intimacy between the photograph of the lost love object and death; yet in his own case he refused to reproduce the counter-image of his dead mother, an image of her as a child before his life had begun. Warhol, of course, used a ’still’ from 1953 to make his memorial icon in his grief for a fellow white working class victim of modern America. In this paper Griselda Pollock will explore the violence of the unguarded intimacy of the publication and feminist re-working of this stolen image of a woman in death in relation to the forensic notion of the silent witness and a feminist aesthetic-ethic of wit(t)messing.
Art historian and cultural analyst, Griselda Pollock is a Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory & History (CentreCATH) at the University of Leeds, England. Her many books and articles address feminist challenges to modernist art history, her current interests focus on the image and time, on trauma and aesthetic transformation, and feminist interventions in psychoanalytical aesthetics as well as cultural memory and the Holocaust. Her recent publications include After-images/After-Effects: Trauma and Aesthetic Transformation in the Virtual Feminist Museum (Manchester University Press 2013) and Art in the Time-Space of Memory and Migration: Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud and Bracha Ettinger in the Freud Museum (WILD PANSY PRESS with the Freud Museum, 2013) http://www.wildpansypress.com She is editor of Visual Politics and Psychoanalysis: Art & the Image in Post-Traumatic Cultures (I B Tauris 2013) and with Max Silverman, co-editor of Concentrationary Memories: Totalitarian Terror and Popular Culture (2013) and Concentrationary Imaginaries: Tracing Totalitarian Violence in Popular Culture (2015). She has just completed a twenty-year project: The Nameless Artist: Charlotte Salomon’s Life? or Theatre? for Yale University Press and is writing Is Feminism a Bad Memory? for Verso, and editing with Anna Johnson Bracha Ettinger: The Matrixial Reader for Palgrave MacMillan. Her book on Marilyn Monroe’s Mov(i)es will appear in 2017..