The poet Ruth Padel went to the conference "What Is an Object?" in February 2011 and was so enthralled she had to go home in the middle to write this poem about the Museum. It will be published in her next poetry collection The Mara Crossing (Chatto & Windus 2012), which is about migration from cells to souls: birds, whales, butterflies, people - and psychological displacement.
12 February 2011
What is an Object?
An inter-disciplinary symposium
at the Anna Freud Centre, London NW3
Art theory, anthropology, philosophy and psychoanalysis have been brought together by the Freud Museum to wrestle over the deceptively simple question 'What is an Object?
Following hard on the heels of the British Museum's 'History of the World in 100 Objects', and connected to our own 'Objects in Mind' exhibition, the conference examines the many meanings and functions of the objects with which we surround ourselves.
The word 'object' resonates throughout the history of psychoanalysis - love objects, lost objects, part objects, transitional objects, fetish objects, internal objects and object representations.
The Symposium will invite scholars and practitioners from the worlds of art, psychoanalysis, philosophy and anthropology to discuss their differing approaches to the question of 'objects', from children's toys to the world of high fashion, from a can of baked beans to a religious icon.
Confirmed speakers include:
Anne-Marie Sandler (UK)
Psychoanalyst, former director of the Anna Freud Centre, and co-author with Joseph Sandler of Internal Objects Revisited (1998)
Salman Akhtar (Jefferson Medical College, Pennsylvania)
Psychoanalyst and author of Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (2009), Freud along the Ganges (2005), Interpersonal Boundaries (2006), and Objects of Our Desire (2005)
Michael Rowlands (University College, London)
Anthropologist and author of “Remembering to Forget” (1999), Memory, sacrifice and war memorials (1997), co-author Handbook of Material Culture I (2006)
Martin Holbraad (University College London)
Anthropologist, co-editor of Thinking Through Things: Theorising Artefacts Ethnographically (2007) and Technologies of the Imagination (2009).
Kenneth Wright (UK)
Psychoanalyst and author of Vision and Separation (1991) and Mirroring and Attunement (2009)
Cornelia Parker (UK)
Internationally acclaimed artist and Turner Prize nominee. Professor of Conceptual Art at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
Darian Leader (UK)
Psychoanalyst and author of Why do women write more letters than they post? (1997) Promises lovers make when it gets late (1998), Freud's Footnotes (2000), Stealing the Mona Lisa: What art stops us from seeing (2002), and The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression (2008)
Lucia Farinati (It)
Independent curator based in London. She is the co-director, with Daniela Cascella, of Sound Threshold, a long-term research project which explores the relationships between site and sound.