Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics. www.freud.org.uk

January 19, 2018  

Jonathan Sklar
Thinking on the Border - Memory and the Trauma in Society

How does an individual human being return from the far reaches of certain terrible experiences?

From the trenches of the Somme. From the sewers of the Warsaw Ghetto. From cities bombed to oblivion such as Dresden, Coventry or the Atomic destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. To the random bombings around the World today and attacks on the meaning of life, or mass movements of people risking death to escape violence and death. And these continuing tragedies contributing to the severe rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric and prejudice.

Walter Benjamin developed a view that prior to the First World War, experience was passed down through the generations in the form of folklore and fairy tales. “With the war came the severing of the red thread of experience” which had connected previous generations. (XI The Storyteller). “The fragile human body that emerged from the trenches was mute, unable to narrate the ‘force field’ of destructive torrents and explosions” that had engulfed it. It was as if the good enriching soil of the fable had become the sticky mud of the trenches, which would bear no fruit but only moulder as a graveyard. “Where do you hear words from the dying that last and that pass from one generation to the next like a precious ring?” Benjamin asks in Experience and Poverty.

In this psychosomatic paper I will give an intellectual and emotional account of being in such experiences.

Jonathan Sklar is an Independent Training Analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Association and a current member of the IPA board. He is a Past Vice-President of the European Psychoanalytical Federation (EPF) and teaches three times a year in Chicago and regularly in East Europe and South Africa. Publications include Landscapes of the Dark – History, trauma, psychoanalysis (2011) and Balint Matters - Psychosomatics and the Art of Assessment (2017) both published by Karnac Books

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January 19, 2018  

Olivia Humphreys
Oneironauts - the Dream Travellers

Synopsis
In the ten years since she died, my mother has made regular appearances in my dreams. 'Oneironauts - the Dream Travellers' considers how these 'meetings' between us have changed over time.

Olivia Humphreys is a radio producer and documentary filmmaker living in London.
Her radio work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, WNYC and ABC Radio National, and her films have been screened in over fifty festivals worldwide.

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January 19, 2018  

Caroline Bainbridge (author and lecturer)
On the Experience of a Melancholic Gaze

This talk focuses on Lars von Trier’s 2011 film, Melancholia, decribed as ‘a beautiful film about the end of the world’ and interlocking personal and global tragedy. Drawing directly on my personal emotional response to the film, and referring to a profound incapacity to talk about it for many years after my initial encounter with it, I will turn to object relations psychoanalysis to think about what such experience has to say about our lived emotional relationship to cinema and its role in shaping and articulating psychological states. The talk touches on debates about the cinematic gaze and the role of film as a psychological argument and considers whether film might be seen as offering a form of therapeutic encounter for viewers.

Caroline Bainbridge is Professor of Culture and Psychoanalysis at the University of Roehampton. She is author of The Cinema of Lars von Trier (2007) and A Feminine Cinematics (2008), and co-editor of several volumes on psychoanalysis and culture, including Television and Psychoanalysis (2013) and Media and the Inner World (2014), and special editions of journals including Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, and Free Associations. The latter collections arise from the AHRC-funded Media and the Inner World research network, which Caroline co-directs. She is Film Editor of The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, and series co-editor of the ‘Psychoanalysis and Popular Culture’ list for Karnac Books. She writes enthusiastically on matters of gender, psychoanalysis, and feminism, and is an advocate of a return to psychoanalytic ideas in her home discipline of Media and Cultural Studies.

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January 19, 2018  

Deborah Levy (writer)
in conversation with Katie Lewis (psychotherapist)
In this session Deborah Levy will read from and talk about her work and discuss its relation to the themes of mourning and melancholia.

Deborah Levy is a playwright, novelist, and poet. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company and she is the author of novels including Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography, Billy and Girl, and the Booker-shortlisted Swimming Home. Her latest novel is Hot Milk, about the fraught relationship between a young woman and her dying mother. Her dramatisations of Freud's case histories of Dora and the Wolfman were broadcast on Radio 4 in 2012.

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January 19, 2018  

Jessa Fairbrother
Conversations with my mother

Synopsis
Conversations with my mother is my work on maternal loss, made during the period in which I lost my remaining parent to cancer while simultaneously experiencing miscarriage and failed fertility treatments. I will perform the text piece to this work, accompanying projected images of original hand-made photographs which are burned, stitched and hand-marked.

Jessa Fairbrother is an artist who explores the familiar and the personal, where yearning, performance and a needle meet each other in photography. After obtaining a BA in English from Durham University, studying at drama school and working in regional journalism, she later lectured in photography before completing an MA in Photographic Studies from the University of Westminster in 2010. She is the recipient of bursaries and honourable mentions in the UK, Europe and Canada and had a solo show in 2017 at the Vittoria Street Gallery in Birmingham City University. In 2016 she produced Conversations with my mother as a limited edition Artist Book which is held in the international collections of Yale Center for British Art (US) as well as libraries at the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (US).

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January 19, 2018  

Ken Robinson:

Who is it that can tell me who I am?': King Lear and The Last Laugh 

This paper considers the failure to mourn the loss of role and identity in retirement and redundancy, using the examples of King Lear and W. F. Murnau’s silent film The Last Laugh (1924).

Ken Robinsonis a psychoanalyst in private practice in Newcastle upon Tyne, a Member and former Honorary Archivist of the British Psychoanalytical Society and Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis at Northumbria University. He is a training analyst for child and adolescent and adult psychotherapy in the North of England and lectures, teaches and supervises in the UK and Europe. Before training as a psychoanalyst he taught English Literature and the History of Ideas in University and maintains an interest in the overlap between psychoanalysis, the arts and humanities. He is especially interested in the nature of therapeutic action, trauma, and creativity. Recent publications include "Empathy, tact and the freedom to be natural" American Journal of Psychoanalysis (2014), "On not being able to symbolise" British Journal of Psychotherapy (2014), and "The ins and outs of listening as a psychoanalyst" Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication (2015). He has contributed the introduction to the first volume of the Collected Works of Winnicott, edited by Lesley Caldwell and Helen Taylor Robinson (2017) and has a forthcoming essay on "Creativity in everyday life" in Donald W. Winnicott and the History of the Present ed. Angela Joyce (Karnac).

 

 

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December 8, 2017  

Joanna Ryan in discussion with Barry Watt

Class and psychoanalysis - Joanna Ryan

What does psychoanalysis have to say about the emotional landscapes of class, the hidden injuries and disavowed privileges? How does class figure in clinical work and what part does it play in psychotherapeutic trainings?

In these times of increasing inequality, Joanna Ryan will discuss aspects of her timely new book Class and Psychoanalysis: Landscapes of Inequality, exploring what can be learned about the psychic formations of class, and the class formations of psychoanalysis. Addressing some of the many challenges facing a psychoanalysis that aims to include class in its remit, she holds the tension between the radical and progressive potential of psychoanalysis, in its unique understandings of the unconscious, with its status as a mainly expensive and exclusive practice.

The aim of this evening’s discussion, part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, is to open up debate about this important but neglected subject.

“Class and Psychoanalysis is a text of great importance. Joanna Ryan writes in a clear and objective way about the neglect of social class in psychoanalysis, yet behind this objectivity is a passionate involvement that will strike a chord with all concerned psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. The book presents the best available overview of the history, theory and practice of psychoanalysis in relation to social class, combining this with interview material from the author’s own studies of psychotherapists to give a detailed and compelling picture of how class enters the consulting room. Engaging with this profound yet accessible book is essential for all who care about class injuries and how we might find ways to respond to them.” - Stephen Frosh, Professor of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London

Joanna Ryan, Ph.D., is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist; she has worked widely in clinical practice, teaching and supervision; in academic research; and in the politics of psychotherapy. She is co-author (with N. O'Connor) of Wild Desires and Mistaken Identities: Lesbianism and Psychoanalysis; co-editor (with S. Cartledge) of Sex and Love: New Thoughts on Old Contradictions; author of The Politics of Mental Handicap and many other publications.

Barry Watt is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, a senior psychotherapist at the Psychosis Therapy Project, a member of The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and a social housing activist and campaigner.

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December 1, 2017  

Bella Freud (Fashion designer) in conversation with Amanda Harlech (Creative consultant and writer):

Bella Freud is a London-born fashion desiigner and film maker. She is renowned for her signature jumpers Je t’aime Jane, Ginsberg is God and 1970. Fans of her work include Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, Kate Moss and Alison Mosshart. Bella Freud launched her eponymous label in 1990 and won Most Innovative Designer at the London Fashion Awards in 1991, when she produced a Super 8 short film ‘Day at the Races’ as an alternative to a fashion show. Bella continued to produce films and seasonal catwalk shows and in 1999 began her fashion film collaboration with John Malkovich. Between 2004 and 2006 Bella was appointed head of womenswear for the relaunch of Biba. She has also consulted for Miss Selfridge and Jaeger.

In 2011 Bella co-wrote an experimental short film Submission with Bafta winning director Martina Amati and in 2013 she art directed the short film Je T’Ecoute, starring Lara Stone, which screened at White Cube Bermondsey. Bella’s directorial debut was ‘Girl Boils Egg’, a two minute film commissioned by Nick Knight for SHOWstudio.com

Bella has an ongoing Blank Canvas collaboration with Fred Perry and a range of perfume and scented candles inspired by her signature sweaters. The first Bella Freud stand alone store is located at 49 Chiltern Street, London.

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December 1, 2017  

Shaun Cole (biog)
The ‘Great Masculine Renunciation’ Re-assessed

Dr Shaun Cole is Associate Dean Postgraduate Communities at London College of Fashion. He was formerly Head of Contemporary Programmes at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he curated several exhibitions, most notably Graphic Responses to AIDS (1996), Dressing the Male (1999) and Black British Style (2004). He is Vice Chair of the Costume Society UK and associate editor of the journal Fashion Style and Popular Culture. He was consultant on exhibitions A Queer History of Fashion (FIT New York) and Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s (V&A, London). Shaun Cole has also written and lectured on the subject of menswear and gay fashion and his publications include ‘Don We Now Our Gay Apparel’: Gay Men’s Dress in the Twentieth Century (2000), Dialogue: Relationships in Graphic Design (2005) The Story of Men's Underwear (2010) and Fashion Media: Past and Present (2013).

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December 1, 2017  

Philip Mann:
The Dandy : Pathological Hero of Modernism

Philip Mann was born in Hanover, Germany, and moved to England in 1988 where he acquired a degree in the History of Art (First Class Honours). He went on to work with the Archigram group of architects, curating their major retrospective in Vienna in 1994. Since then he has written for various publications, notably Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Vogue. He is often invited to lecture about matters sartorial-dandiaecal in Vienna, New York, Bern and, of course, London. Mann has worked intermittently on what has become The Dandy at Dusk since 1998. It will be published by Head of Zeus in October, 2017.

 

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December 1, 2017  

Zowie Broach:

Introductory Thoughts

Zowie Broach is the head of fashion at London’s Royal College of Art. She first attracted attention for co-founding avant-garde fashion label, BOUDICCA. Launched in 1997 with her partner, Brian Kirkby. the line of highly conceptual designs and architecturally inspired tailoring became known for its non-conformist approach to commerce – for the first five years, Broach’s brand didn’t actually produces clothes for sale, other than private orders for friends. Consistently blurring the lines between fashion and art, Broach and Kirkby’s work has been displayed at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as the Art Institute of Chicago.

Alongside her role as a designer and artist, Zowie Broach has been involved in fashion education for over a decade. Teaching for eight years at the University of Westminster in London, Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York, SAIC in Chicago and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Between 2009 and 2011, Broach was appointed designer in residence at London College of Fashion.

As the head of fashion at the Royal College of Art, Broach has put an emphasis on the importance of artistic and intellectual experimentation, telling NY TIMES in June 2017: “From the moment I arrived here, I made it clear that I want these students to feel equipped to ask urgent questions,” and adding, “They need to feel a sense of ownership over their own cultures. They are the future, after all. It is my job is to make them feel empowered and confident enough to have strong, distinctive points of view." After the RCA’s 2015 MA graduate fashion show, the first under Broach’s instruction, Suzy Menkes declared Broach’s appointment heralded a “new era” in London fashion.

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December 1, 2017  

Valerie Steele:

Freud and Fashion

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she has organized more than 25 exhibitions since 1997, including The Corset, London Fashion, Gothic: Dark Glamour; Daphne Guinness, A Queer History of Fashion, Dance and Fashion and Proust’s Muse.

She is also the author or editor of more than 25 books, including Paris Fashion, Women of Fashion, Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power, The Corset, The Berg Companion to Fashion, and. Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT. Her books have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian. In addition, she is founder and editor in chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, the first peer-reviewed, scholarly journal in Fashion Studies.

Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale Ph.D) with the rare ability to communicate with general audiences. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Valerie Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion. She has appeared on many television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Undressed: The Story of Fashion. Described in The Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest women” and by Suzy Menkes as “The Freud of Fashion,” she was listed as one of “The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry” in the Business of Fashion 500: (2014 and 2015).

 

 

 

 

 

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December 1, 2017  

Mary Wild:
Cinematic repetition in The Duke of Burgundy and Paterson

Mary Wild’s contribution to the Symposium will be to locate and analyse repetition compulsion, uncanny excess of life, and the Nietzschean eternal return in two recent cinema releases: Peter Strickland's The Duke of Burgundy (2014), about a woman who tests the limits of her relationship with her lesbian lover, and Jim Jarmusch's Paterson (2016), a quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life along with the poetry evident in its smallest details. The Freudian death drive will be shown to have very little to do with the desire for self-destruction, or for the return to an inorganic state; it is rather, as Slavoj Zizek says in The Parallax View, “the very opposite of dying – a name for the ‘undead’ eternal life itself, for the horrible fate of being caught in the endless repetitive cycle of wandering around in guilt and pain.”

Mary Wild is the creator of the popular PROJECTIONS lecture series (psychoanalysis for film interpretation), which has been running regularly at Freud Museum London since 2012. She teaches in the Humanities department at City Lit and is featured in the Shoreditch House cinema events programme. She has produced similar events at ICA, BFI, NYU and Central Saint Martins. Her interests include cinematic representations of identity, the unconscious, hysteria, neoliberal economics, mental illness and love. 

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December 1, 2017  

Gwion Jones
Eternal Recurrence: An obsessional nightmare?

If we interrogate Nietsche’s notion of eternal recurrence in the light of Lacan’s pronouncements on repetition from Seminar 11, of a failed attempt at mastery over desire, we arrive at a very different appreciation of its dialectic. Using this question as my starting point I propose to apply Lacan's thesis to the psychical operation of magical notions of time in particular, as manifest in obsessional neurosis, thereby extrapolating its implications for the wider themes of the symposium; namely the operation of mythic narratives in human subjectivity more generally, and of the abiding lure of spiritual ideas of fate and destiny. The aim of this argument is to follow a path originally laid down by Jacques Derrida in reconceptualising the influence of Nietzsche on the development of Freud’s metapsychology, through this pathologisation of Nietsche’s seminal thesis.

Gwion Jones is a psychoanalyst working in private practice as well as lecturer in psychology at Coventry University.

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December 1, 2017  

Dany Nobus
Freud’s Nietzsche: Eternal Recurrence, Symptomatic Acts and the Practice of Gift-Giving.

For his seventieth birthday on 6 May 1926, Otto Rank sent Freud a precious gift from Paris: the special edition of the Musarionausgabe of Nietzsche’s complete works. To Rank’s wife, Freud expressed how pleased he was with the unexpected present; to Ernest Jones, he conceded that it had clearly been a symptomatic act on Rank’s part. Nonetheless, when time came for Freud to pack his belongings in 1938, he could not leave the volumes behind, and they currently occupy a central place in his library at Maresfield Gardens. Over the years, Rank’s gift has been interpreted in different ways, yet little has been said about Freud’s acceptance of this Nietzsche, and even less about whether he actually read any of the books. And what happened to the Nietzsche Freud had bought in 1900, and of which he said to Fließ that he would hope to find words in it for much that had remained mute in him?

Dany Nobus is Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology at Brunel University London, where he also convenes the MA Programme in Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society. In addition, he is the Chair of the Freud Museum London, and the author of numerous publications on the history, theory and practice of psychoanalysis. In April 2017, he was presented with the Sarton medal of the University of Ghent for his contributions to the history and theory of psychoanalysis, which coincided with the publication of a new book entitled The Law of Desire: On Lacan’s “Kant with Sade”.

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December 1, 2017  

Sebastian Gardner
Figures of Thought and Unconscious Configurations in Nietzsche and Freud

I begin by rehearsing briefly the interpretative difficulties familiarly posed by Nietzsche's conception of eternal recurrence. Is eternal recurrence a cosmological or metaphysical hypothesis? Is it a metaphorical formulation of some doctrine of Nietzsche's? Or a thought-experiment with diagnostic value? Or a fiction with ethical and therapeutic import? I suggest that, although the idea of eternal recurrence makes sense as a piece of metaphysics, the indeterminacy of its status – its resistance to classification ¬– is integral to its meaning, as Nietzsche conceives it. In order to address the further question, concerning how eternal recurrence may be related to psychoanalytic theory, I take up the suggestion, found in hermeneutical construals of Freud, that the unconscious exhibits a ''causality of fate''. This allows us, I suggest, to join Nietzsche and Freud on a single conceptual plane without confusing their fundamentally distinct projects.

Sebastian Gardner is Professor of Philosophy at University College London. His interests are in Kant, post-Kantian idealism, C19 German philosophy, aesthetics, and the philosophy of psychoanalysis. He is the author of Irrationality and the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis (CUP, 1993), Kant and the 'Critique of Pure Reason' (Routledge, 1999), and Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness' (Continuum, 2009). The Transcendental Turn (OUP), a collection of papers co-edited with Matthew Grist, appeared in 2015.

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November 10, 2017  

Following a widely attended talk earlier this year, Professor Craig Clunas returns for another fascinating exploration into Freud’s Chinese collection as part of Asian Art in London 2017.

Freud's passion for, and avid collecting of antiquities is well known, but attention has tended to focus on the objects he owned from the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean; Greece and Rome, and Ancient Egypt. His Chinese collections, begun later in life, are by contrast less well known and relatively little-discussed, even though Chinese objects were literally staring him in the face as he sat at his desk, as many now-iconic images show. His beloved dogs were in a sense 'Chinese' too (and certainly had Chinese names). This lecture looks at Freud's Chinese objects, and at knowledge about those objects, situating him in the context of late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century ideas of the ‘East', and examining some surprising parallels with his close contemporary, the archaeologist Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862-1943).

Craig Clunas is Professor of the History of Art at the University of Oxford, and the first scholar of Asian art to hold this Chair. He has worked as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as teaching art history at the universities of Chicago and Sussex, and at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Visual China Research Centre, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou. In 2014 he co-curated the British Museum exhibition, 'Ming: 50 Years that Changed China'. His most recent book, based on the 2012 Mellon lectures delivered at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, is ‘Chinese Painting and its Audiences’ (2017).

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November 10, 2017  

Author's Talk: Eric Smadja

In Freud and Culture, we explore the representations of society and culture that Freud developed in the course of his work and we shall distinguish two periods. Distinct from contemporary sociological and anthropological conceptions, they led to his construction of a personal socio-anthropology that was virulently criticised by the social sciences. But what exactly is meant here by “culture” and “society”? Do we mean Freud’s own Viennese society or Western “civilised” society in general? In addition, Freud was interested in historical and “primitive” societies from the evolutionist perspective of the British anthropologists of his time. Our work considers the interrelationship between these different societies and cultures, and raises many questions. What constitutes a culture? What are its essential traits, its functions, its relationships with society, for example. Moreover, we present the Freudian central notion of Kulturarbeit, which is constructed from a strictly Freudian perspective.

Eric Smadja is a psychiatrist, a psychoanalyst, a member of the Société psychanalytique de Paris and of the International Psychoanalytical Association, a couples psychoanalyst. He is also an anthropologist, an associate member of the American Anthropological Association and a member of the Society for Psychological Anthropology.

In 2007, he was awarded the IPA’s Prize for “Exceptional Contribution made to Psychoanalytical Research”.

His works are pluri and interdisciplinary in nature and his current research deals with : “Freud, Durkheim and Mauss: on Symbolism and Symbolization”

He is the author of the following books:

Laughter (Le Rire) “Que sais-je” series, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, April 1993 (1st ed.), September 2011 (4th ed.); 1st English edition, September 2013 (College Publications, London);

The Oedipus Complex, Crystallizer of the Debate between Psychoanalysis and Anthropology (Le complexe d’Œdipe, cristallisateur du débat psychanalyse/anthropologie), Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2009. An English forthcoming edition by Routledge in June 2017.

- The Couple: A Pluridisciplinary Story (Le Couple et son Histoire) Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, March 2011 (1st edition) ; 1st English edition in June 2016 (Routledge).

Couples in Psychoanalysis (Ed.) (Couples en psychanalyse) (Dir.), Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, May 2013.

Freud and Culture (Freud et la Culture), Paris : Presses Universitaires de France, September 2013 ; A first English Edition by Karnac Books and The International Psychoanalytical Association.

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November 10, 2017  

Panel discussion: Joseph Berke, Stephen Frosh, Tali Loewenthal and Anthony Stadlen

Predominantly, Sigmund Freud saw himself as an objective scientist. Initially, he gained renown as an anatomist, being the first person to dissect the testicles of an eel. Subsequently he made major contributions to histology and neurology, particularly through his study of Aphasia. Yet he became famous for his study of subjectivity and intersubjectivity.

At the same time, he decried religion, including his own, as mired in magic and superstition. And he repeatedly denied that his work was a 'Jewish science,' even though he and almost all the founding fathers of psychoanalysis were Jewish, and his basic discoveries were rooted in the Jewish mystical tradition. That was the overt Freud.

The covert Freud confessed that he was "not at all a man of science," rather an emotional "conquistador and adventurer." Moreover he maintained mystical texts in his library and, at times, studied with a distinguished Kabbalist, Rabbi Alexandre Safran.

In 1977 on the creation Sigmund Freud Chair of Psychoanalysis at the Hebrew University, his daughter, Anna, addressed the issue of her father's work being a "Jewish science." She said that however much psychoanalysis may be dismissed for being unscientific or overly Jewish, she now believed that the term could now serve as a "title of honor."

The discussants will consider whether this is still, or ever was, the case.

JOSEPH BERKE

MD, FRSM, FDAmBMPP
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, Individuals and Families
Co_Founder, Arbours Association
Founder and Director, Arbours Crisis Centre
Lecturer and Writer
Books include, Mary Barnes: Two Accounts of a Journey Through Madness ( with M. Barnes) Why I Hate You and You Hate Me and most recently The Hidden Freud: His Hassidic Roots

STEPHEN FROSH

Pro-Vice-Master and Professor in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of many books and papers on psychosocial studies and on psychoanalysis, including Feelings, Psychoanalysis Outside the Clinic, A Brief Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory, and The Politics of Psychoanalysis. He has written two books on psychoanalysis and Jewish identities: Hate and the Jewish Science: Anti-Semitism, Nazism and Psychoanalysis, and Hauntings: Psychoanalysis and Ghostly Transmissions.

TALI LOEWENTHAL

Dr Naftali Loewenthal was born in Haifa but was brought up in London. He is an adjunct lecturer at the Dept of Hebrew and Jewish Studies of UCL, lecturing in Jewish Spirituality. He authored Communicating the Infinite: the Emergence of the Habad School (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990) and many scholarly articles. His forthcoming book with the Littman Library is entitled “Hippy in the Mikveh, Essays on Habad Thought and History”.

He also directs the Chabad Research Unit, an educational organisation running study groups and producing ‘Friday Night’ for discussion at the Shabbat table, and teaches Religious Studies in the Lubavitch Senior Girls School. He is married to Professor Kate-Miriam Loewenthal. They have a large family.

ANTHONY STADLEN

Anthony Stadlen is an existential and psychoanalytic psychotherapist (UKCP, BPC), Daseinsanalyst (IFDA Independent Effective Member for UK), family analyst and teacher. Research Fellow of Freud Museum 1988-90. Since 1979 has conducted historical research on the paradigm case studies of Freud, Binswanger, Boss, Laing, Esterson, and other therapists. Author of many papers including 'Was Dora wel ziek?' in Vrij Nederland (1985); 'Freud's Judaism: Renewal and Betrayal' in Is Psychoanalysis Another Religion (1993, published by Freud Museum); 'The Madhouse of Being' in Daseinsanalyse (2007). Convenor since 1996 of Inner Circle Seminars, London, an existential, phenomenological search for truth in the foundations of psychotherapy. Lay leyener (Torah scroll reciter) and chazan (cantor) at Belsize Square Synagogue.

 
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Professor Dany Nobus is joined by eminent scholar, author, journalist and psychoanalyst Élisabeth Roudinesco to discuss her latest book, Freud: In His Time and Ours.

Freud: In His Time and Ours by Elisabeth Roudinesco

Élisabeth Roudinesco offers a bold and modern reinterpretation of the iconic founder of psychoanalysis. Based on new archival sources, this is Freud’s biography for the twenty-first century—a critical appraisal, at once sympathetic and impartial, of a genius greatly admired and yet greatly misunderstood in his own time and in ours.

Roudinesco traces Freud’s life from his upbringing as the eldest of eight siblings in a prosperous Jewish-Austrian household to his final days in London, a refugee of the Nazis’ annexation of his homeland. She recreates the milieu of fin de siècle Vienna in the waning days of the Habsburg Empire—an era of extraordinary artistic innovation, given luster by such luminaries as Gustav Klimt, Stefan Zweig, and Gustav Mahler. In the midst of it all, at the modest residence of Berggasse 19, Freud pursued his clinical investigation of nervous disorders, blazing a path into the unplumbed recesses of human consciousness and desire.

“Through seamlessly and eloquently weaving together details from Freud’s time and our own, [Roudinesco] provides a refreshingly new and welcome account—warts and all.”—Janet Sayers, Times Higher Education

“What makes Freud: In His Time And Ours…such a captivating read, is the author’s ability to explain what are often complex, deeply-layered, and dark taboo subjects, into a language that is easily understood… [A] brilliant biography.”—J. P. O’Mallery, The Irish Examiner

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September 8, 2017  

Taking his latest novel An English Guide to Birdwatching as a starting point, Nicholas Royle talks with psychoanalyst and writer Adam Phillips about how literature and psychoanalysis can speak to and of each other.

An English Guide to Birdwatching

Dazzling in its linguistic playfulness and formal invention, An English Guide to Birdwatching explores the rich hinterland between fact and fiction. In its focus on birds, climate change, the banking crisis, social justice and human migration, it is intensely relevant to wider political concerns; in its mischievous wit and wordplay, it pushes the boundaries of what a novel might be. Royle’s novel engages deeply with Freud, especially in the context of ‘the uncanny’.

“This is a novel operating at the outer edges of the form, deep in the avant-garde... play[ing] brilliantly in the fertile ground between fiction and memoir. An English Guide to Birdwatching is Rachel Cusk rewritten by Georges Bataille, full of strange sex, sudden violence and surreal twists. Illuminated throughout with gorgeous illustrations by Natalia Gasson, this is a novel that will charm, unsettle and baffle in equal measure.”

Alex Preston, Financial Times

An English Guide to Birdwatching is available from the Freud Museum Shop.

Nicholas Royle has been Professor of English at the University of Sussex since 1999. He established the MA/PhD programme in Creative and Critical Writing in 2001 and is founding director of the Centre for Creative and Critical Thought. He has published many critical books, including Telepathy and Literature (1991), The Uncanny (2003) and Veering (2011), as well as numerous essays about Freud, literature and psychoanalysis. His first novel, Quilt, was published in 2010.

Adam Phillips is a practising psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books, the Observer and the New York Times, and he is General Editor of the Penguin Modern Classics Freud translations. In his latest publication In Writing (Hamish Hamilton, June 2017) Phillips celebrates the art of close reading and asks what it is to defend literature in a world that is increasingly devaluing language.

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In The Not-Two, Lorenzo Chiesa examines the treatment of logic and God in Lacan’s later work.

The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan

Chiesa draws for the most part from Lacan’s Seminars of the early 1970s, as they revolve around the axiom "There is no sexual relationship." Chiesa provides both a close reading of Lacan’s effort to formalize sexual difference as incompleteness and an assessment of its broader implications for philosophical realism and materialism.

Chiesa argues that "There is no sexual relationship" is for Lacan empirically and historically circumscribed by psychoanalysis, yet self-evident in our everyday lives. Lacan believed that we have sex because we love, and that love is a desire to be One in face of the absence of the sexual relationship. Love presupposes a real "not-two." The not-two condenses the idea that our love and sex lives are dictated by the impossibility of fusing man’s contradictory being with the heteros of woman as a fundamentally uncountable Other. Sexual liaisons are sustained by a transcendental logic, the so-called phallic function that attempts to overcome this impossibility.

Chiesa also focuses on Lacan’s critical dialogue with modern science and formal logic, as well as his dismantling of sexuality as considered by mainstream biological discourse. Developing a new logic of sexuation based on incompleteness requires the relinquishing of any alleged logos of life and any teleological evolution.

For Lacan, the truth of incompleteness as approached psychoanalytically through sexuality would allow us to go further in debunking traditional onto-theology and replace it with a “para-ontology” yet to be developed. Given the truth of incompleteness, Chiesa asks, can we think such a truth in itself without turning incompleteness into another truth about truth, that is, into yet another figure of God as absolute being?

Lorenzo Chiesa is a philosopher who has published extensively on psychoanalysis. His works in this field include Subjectivity and Otherness: A Philosophical Reading of Lacan (MIT Press, 2007); Lacan and Philosophy: The New Generation (Re.press, 2014); The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan (MIT Press, 2016); and The Virtual Point of Freedom (Northwestern University Press, 2016). Since 2014, he has been Visiting Professor at the European University at Saint Petersburg and at the Freud’s Dream Museum of the same city. Previously, he was Professor of Modern European Thought at the University of Kent, where he founded and directed the Centre for Critical Thought.

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June 29, 2017  

In his latest publication In Writing acclaimed psychoanalyst and writer, Adam Phillips celebrates the art of close reading and asks what it is to defend literature in a world that is increasingly devaluing language in this enjoyable collection of essays on literature.

Through an exhilarating series of encounters with – and vivid readings of – writers he has loved, from Byron and Barthes to Shakespeare and Sebald, Phillips infuses the love of writing with deep insights drawn from his work as a practicing psychoanalyst to demonstrate, in his own unique style, how literature and psychoanalysis can speak to and of each other.

For Adam Phillips - as for Freud and many of his followers - poetry and poets have always held an essential place, as both precursors and unofficial collaborators in the psychoanalytic project. But the same has never held true in reverse. What, Phillips wonders, at the start of this deeply engaging book, has psychoanalysis meant for writers? And what can writing do for psychoanalysis?

He discusses how literature and psychoanalysis can speak to and of each other with psychoanalyst and writer, Josh Cohen.

'Reading Phillips, you may be amused, vexed, dazzled. But the one thing you will never be is bored.'
Observer

'It is a pleasure simply to hear him think.'
Sunday Telegraph

Adam Phillips is a practising psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books, the Observer and the New York Times, and he is General Editor of the Penguin Modern Classics Freud translations. His most recent book is In Writing and he recently curated an exhibition, The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined, at the Barbican, London.

Josh Cohen is a psychoanalyst in private practice and Professor of Literary Theory at Goldsmiths University of London. He is the author of four books and numerous articles on psychoanalysis, modern literature and cultural theory, including How to Read Freud and, most recently, The Private Life: Why We Remain in the Dark. He is currently completing a book on inertia on psychic and cultural life, provisionally titled Not Working.

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June 8, 2017  

Freud biographer and practising psychoanalyst, Joel Whitebook, discusses his new book Freud: An Intellectual Biography

Offering a radically new portrait, Whitebook reconsiders Freud in light of recent developments in psychoanalytic theory and practice, gender studies, philosophy and cultural theory. He explores the man in all his complexity alongside a new interpretation of his theories that overturns many stereotypes that surround him.

An elegant foray into the man and his mind...rich and illuminating.
Guardian

Despite all attempts to bury him, Freud remains the ultimate revenant, haunting the 21st century. Whitebook shows how relevant many of Freud’s ideas remain.
Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley

Joel Whitebook is a philosopher and psychoanalyst who maintained a private practice in New York City for twenty-five years. He is currently on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, and he is the Director of the University's Psychoanalytic Studies Program.

 
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May 22, 2017  

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The Freud Museum is delighted to announce the exhibition of a new sculpture, Sleeping Beauty, by internationally renowned contemporary artist Franko B, coinciding with Refugee Week 2017 and our latest exhibition, The Best Possible School: Anna Freud, Dorothy Tiffany Burlingham and the Hietzing School in 1920s Vienna. The Museum will also display pieces from Franko B’s series Still Life, in which the artist documented homelessness on the streets of London between 1999 and 2002. The photographs reflect upon the lives of the most vulnerable in our society and reference Franko B’s personal biography.

Sleeping Beauty is a sculpture of a deceased refugee child, presumed to be from Syria, hand carved in marble using traditional methods in the style of Baroque sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Like Bernini, Franko B's practice is engaged with an aesthetic dialogue between the sacred and profane. However, in Franko B’s latest sculpture, the sacred is found in the figure of the child rendered eternally in marble and the profane within ourselves, our leaders, our states and institutions - crystallised in our collective failure to address the worst human crisis since the Second World War.

The practice of mass consumption and appropriation of imagery is key in Franko B’s art. It reflects upon the saturation of our cultures with images, a phenomenon that has only intensified in the age of the Internet. The action of stitching and painting these works on canvas, or in this case carving in marble is a deliberate attempt to bring the ephemera of our culture into carefully considered physical form. In these gestures of permanence, Franko B has made an impossibility of mindless deletion, of forgetting and of censorship.

Franko B (b. Milan 1960) is a contemporary artist whose practice spans drawing, installation, performance and sculpture. Over the years he has built up a diverse and sizable body of work and has gained international acclaim for his contribution to contemporary art.

Franko B Lives and works in London and is Professor of Sculpture at l’Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti di Torino, Italy, he is also a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, London and Northampton University. He has presented work internationally at; Tate Modern; ICA (London); South London Gallery; Arnolfini (Bristol); Palais des Beaux Artes (Brussels); Beaconsfiled (London); Bluecoat Museum (Liverpool); Tate Liverpool; RuArts Foundation (Moscow); Victoria and Albert Museum (London); Freud Museum (London); PAC (Milan); Contemporary Art Centre (Copenhagen) and many more. His works are in the collections of the Tate, Victoria and Albert Museum, South London Gallery, the permanent collection of the City of Milan and a/political, London.

The source image for Sleeping Beauty was taken by Syrian artist Khaled Barakeh and was shared on social media in August 2015, before being removed by moderators for a content violation.

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Claudia Rankine described the poems in Alsadir’s first book as 'lawless,' ‘provocative, and 'heart-breaking' as they converse from the inside out… come alive in the back and forth of a mind attempting to understand what it means to be in relation to. ’Fourth Person Singular continues to blow open the relationship between self and world in a working through of lyric shame, bending poetic form through fragment, lyric essay, aphorisms mined from the unconscious, and pop-up associations, to explore the complexities, congruities, disturbances - as well as the beauty - involved in self-representation in language. As unexpected as it is bold, Alsadir's ambitious tour de force demands we pay new attention to the current conversation about the nature of lyric – and human relationships – in the 21st century.

She talks to psychoanalyst and writer Josh Cohen about poetry, dreams, shame and related topics.

Praise for Fourth Person Singular:

‘To read Fourth Person Singular is to fall in love – that’s all I can say to capture the experience of being so scarily and exhilaratingly close to someone else’s thoughts on every vital page. Alsadir’s work is, as ever, full of astute observations and insights driven by a deep intellect, alive to the world and our fears, pressures, dreams and ideas. But there’s something greater here too: a unity of form and content, process and delivery which transfigures the conceptual and the lyric. I don't remember the last time I've read something which is at once so alive and so vigorously smart and ambitious; uniquely self-aware, caustically funny whilst constantly generous and compassionate. The rare joy of a writer finding the exact form for their voice and their mission. Essential reading.’

--Luke Kennard

'Fourth Person Singular is poetry that is neither verse nor exactly prose poetry, but aphorism, perception, quotation, annotation, a squeezing between the gaps in the windows and doorways of experience seeking for air. It is more than its pieces: it is a whole that is a form of understanding. It is that whole that is the complex and revelatory poem.'

--George Szirtes

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The Freud Memorial Lecture 2017

The 2017 Freud Memorial Lecture provides a rare opportunity to hear the world-renowned psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Salman Akhtar.

The so-called widening scope of psychoanalysis has led to emphasis upon psychodynamic constellations of splitting, projective identification, and other 'primitive' defences at the cost of inattention to the mechanism of repression. This presentation seeks to undo this trend by noting the profound and pervasive significance of repression in mental life. By carefully going over Freud's 1915 paper on Repression, this presentation will unmask four important binaries (primal vs. defensive, pushed down vs pulled under, banished vs. returned, and successful vs. failed) in this concept. The work of repression in pathologies organized around splitting etc. will also be highlighted. Ample social and clinical vignettes will be offered to illustrate the ideas proposed in this talk.

Professor Salman Akhtar is one of the most creative and prolific psychoanalysts writing today and has authored, edited or co-edited more than 300 publications including books on psychiatry and psychoanalysis and several collections of poetry. He has been a supporter of the Freud Museum for many years, and we are honoured that he is giving this prestigious lecture.

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April 4, 2017  

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William Rose’s novel The Strange Case of Madeleine Seguin is set in the rich and decadent world of the intelligentsia in Fin de Siècle Paris.

The book centres on the institution of the Salpetriere hospital. In the book the Salpetriere has progressed from its previous incarnation as a 'warehouse' for societies undesirables to a kind of human museum filled with subjects for Charcot to study. Rather than a prison, the hospital has become a laboratory for the vivisection of the hysterical mind. As theories of hysteria and female madness morph from animalistic and anatomical degeneracy to those of psychological trauma, the doctors at the Salpetriere in the novel drift towards Freudian theory. One of these young doctors named Lamond writes a letter to Freud in which he describes the unconscious as 'a veritable Salpetriere of the psyche which harbours ideas and emotional ventures we can scarce dare even think of'.

The church is another reoccurring theme in the novel, and parallels are drawn illustratively between religion and a kind of hysterical theatre. Charcot draws parallels in his studies between the behaviour of various saints and of those in the grip of a hysterical attack. Indeed, the concept of possession is present both in the occult and quasi-religious rituals that were becoming popular in the Fin de Siecle and also in the theatrical hypnotism Charcot performs on his patients at the public lectures held in the Salpetriere for the titillation of the aristocratic intelligentsia. The figure of Charcot represents the conflict between science and religion, and the church is a sinister force in the novel, providing a steady undercurrent of menace and tension which drives the plot forward and captures the attention.

Another thread of the novel is the development of the school of symbolist artists. We are introduced through a young artist to the intellectual salons of the ‘Mardistes’, including the poet Mallarme. The excursions into the artistic Parisian demi-monde add to the atmospheric milieu and set the scene which allows us to better understand the world in which these events happen. Indeed, the novel raises an interesting question over the differences between hysteria and the decadent decay into neurasthenic self-absorption.

The novel beautifully illustrates the skilfully interwoven threads of hysteria, art, the occult, and the Parisian fin de siècle demi monde and intelligentsia. Tension builds with a steady bubbling undercurrent of devil worship and the impending threat of the femme fatale. Hysteria is explored in the context of these societal factors and ideals of femininity, and this brings to mind the role of these factors and our ideals in our modern concepts of mental illness.

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Raul Moncayo in conversation with Dany Nobus

raul-moncayo-language-sinthome-jouissance-nomination.jpgLacan's Seminar XXIII on the Sinthome represents the culmination of a Seminar that spanned over two decades and represents an evolution of his thought where previous concepts are not abandoned but rather recontextualized within the context of new theory. As the topological knot of three represents the first theory presided by the Symbolic, the knot of four represents the final theory presided by the Real and a new conception of the symptom. Until recently Seminar XXIII was only available in English thanks to Cormac Gallagher unofficial translation, but now the official translation has been published as well as Raul Moncayo's commentary on the same.

Raul Moncayo is supervising analyst, founding member, and faculty of the San Francisco Bay Area Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis (LSP). He has a private practice of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, supervision, and consultation. Dr. Moncayo has published five books and many papers in professional journals and has over thirty years of clinical experience including being training director for many years of a large psychiatric clinic in San Francisco and being faculty at many universities both locally and internationally. His latest work, Lalangue, Sinthome, Jouissance, and Nomination: A Reading Companion and Commentary on Lacan's Seminar XXIII on the Sinthome, is published by Karnac.

Dany Nobus is Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology at Brunel University London, where he also convenes the MA Programme in Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society. In addition, he is the Chair of the Freud Museum London, and the author of numerous publications on the history, theory and practice of psychoanalysis. In April 2017, he will be presented with the Sarton medal of the University of Ghent for his contributions to the history and theory of psychoanalysis, and this will coincide with the publication of a new book entitled The Law of Desire: On Lacan’s “Kant with Sade”.

 

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Re-reading Freud's 1905 edition of Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality

This book presentation is devoted to the newly translated and annotated English edition of Freud’s 1905 Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (Verso, 2016).

Freud’s publication is one of the grounding texts of 20th-century European thinking. In it Freud develops a highly innovative theory of sexuality for which pathology serves as a model to understand human existence. Freud published this text five times during his lifetime. In the book presentation, the editors will highlight the potential of the text in its relevance for contemporary psychoanalytic theory. This potential concerns three main issues. First, the text is important as regards its theory of sexuality: infantile sexuality is seen as strictly autoerotic and without an object, and hence, cannot be described in oedipal terms – Freud’s first theory of sexuality is a non-oedipal theory. Second, Freud opts for a very interesting, "pathoanalytic“ perspective on sexuality, when using the psychoneuroses (especially hysteria) as the model to understand the general human sexual constitution. Third, Freud offers a profound critique of heteronormative and functional theories of sexuality and the perversions in his contemporary psychiatric and sexological literature. Re-reading the Three Essays shows that we have to reconsider the genesis of Freudian thinking, and psychoanalysis’ potential in contemporary debates on sexuality, gender and normativity. 

Biographies:

Philippe Van Haute is Professor at the Center for Contemporary European Philosophy, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Extraordinary Professor of philosophy at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is a psychoanalyst of the Belgian School for Psychoanalysis and a founding member of the Société internationale de psychanalyse et de philosophie/ International Society for Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. He has published numerous books, among them Against Adaptation (2002), Confusion of Tongues (with Tomas Geyskens, 2004), From Death Drive to Attachment Theory (with Tomas Geyskens, 2007), and A Non-oedipal Psychoanalysis? (with Tomas Geyskens, 2012). He is the coeditor of the book series Figures of the Unconscious (Louvain University Press).

Herman Westerink is Lecturer at the Center for Contemporary European Philosophy, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Extraordinary Professor at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He is a member of the Société internationale de psychanalyse et de philosophie/International Society for Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. He has published numerous books and articles on psychoanalysis, including A Dark Trace: Sigmund Freud on the Sense of Guilt (2009) and The Heart of Man’s Destiny (2012). He is Editor of the book series Sigmund Freud's Werke: Wiener Interdisziplinäre Kommentare.

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Celebrity, Pornography and the Psychoanalysis of Self-Representation

Gareth Longstaff

Using the original concept of ‘Bodies that Stutter’ this paper focuses on the representational intersections between celebrity and pornography online.

To do this it will consider how contemporary practices of self-representation on digital and networked media (captured in the practice of the ‘selfie’) frame a rhetoric of desire as jouissance. The dialogue between queer and psychoanalytic theory will also inform the discussion to consider how performative bodies that have ‘mattered’ (Judith Butler, 1993) and unconsciously ‘muttered’ (Tim Dean, 2000) now ‘stutter’. Using the work of Jacques Lacan to reposition Tim Dean's and Judith Butler's concepts of bodies that matter and bodies that mutter, this stuttering body, which is embedded in late capitalist discourses of celebrity and pornography, is reflective of the hesitancy, frustration, exhilaration, and repetition that it subversively contains, as well as remaining vulnerable to metonymic contiguity and transposition of a symbolically normative language it cannot control. ‘Bodies that Stutter’ are also the bodies that attempt to express a powerful jouissance. through a language of the ‘personal’ and the metaphorical signifier. Yet, unlike Imaginary bodies that rely upon ego, the ‘Bodies that Stutter’ are subject to an impersonal Other that underpins how their desire is expressed metonymically – through this process they symbolically-stutter.

A lot like desire, or slips of the tongue and pen, stuttering is reliant upon stops and starts, structure and chaos, satisfaction and dissatisfaction. It is also something that cannot be contained or applied to one body above another or indeed one identity and/or identity type. This paper uses the contextual focus of the micro-celebrity selfie and its ubiquity on social networking sites to suggest that bodies that stutter form a practice of ‘symbolic stuttering’ that might well occur in multiple, ambiguous, and oblique ways.

Gareth Longstaff is a lecturer in media and cultural studies at Newcastle University. Both his teaching and research interests are primarily concerned with queer sexuality, celebrity, discourses of self-representation, pornography and psychoanalysis. Gareth works at the intersection of how these are connected to other dimensions of queer, cultural, philosophical, mediated and social life and in his upcoming monograph ‘Bodies that Stutter: Celebrity, Pornography and the Psychoanalysis of Self Representation’ his approach to these issues engages and applies queer theory and crossing of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis to the impersonality of desire and the mediated screening of the self in self-representational photography, pornography/sexual representation, and digital / networked media.

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February 3, 2017  

Lacanian psychoanalyst Bruce Fink discusses his latest work, Lacan on Love.

Quintessentially fascinating, love intrigues and perplexes us, and drives much of what we do in life. As wary as we may be of its illusions and disappointments, many of us fall blindly into its traps and become ensnared time and again. Deliriously mad excitement turns to disenchantment, if not deadening repetition, and we wonder how we shall ever break out of this vicious cycle.

Can psychoanalysis – with ample assistance from philosophers, poets, novelists, and songwriters – give us a new perspective on the wellsprings and course of love? Can it help us fathom how and why we are often looking for love in all the wrong places, and are fundamentally confused about “what love really is”?

In this lively and wide-ranging exploration of love throughout the ages, Fink argues that it can. Taking within his compass a vast array of traditions – from Antiquity to the courtly love poets, Christian love, and Romanticism – and providing an in-depth examination of Freud and Lacan on love and libido, Fink unpacks Lacan’s paradoxical claim that “love is giving what you don’t have.” He shows how the emptiness or lack we feel within ourselves gets covered over or entwined in love, and how it is possible and indeed vital to give something to another that we feel we ourselves don’t have.

This first-ever commentary on Lacan’s Seminar VIII, Transference, provides readers with a clear and systematic introduction to Lacan’s views on love. It will be of great value to students and scholars of psychology and of the humanities generally, and to analysts of all persuasions.

Lacan on Love: An Exploration of Lacan's Seminar VIII, Transference is published by Polity. Available from the Freud Museum Shop.

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Analytic psychotherapist and art historian, Robert Snell joins us to discuss his forthcoming book, Portraits of the Insane: Théodore Géricault and the Subject of Psychotherapy.

In the gloomy aftermath of the 1789 Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, the French painter Théodore Géricault (1791–1824) made a series of portraits of patients in an asylum or clinic. The paintings are unprecedented: they show people designated as insane as ordinary, unique individuals. They point to a new, essentially democratic conception of the human being, sane or mad, as available for relationship and communication: a ‘therapeutic subject’. Made during a period of massive social, cultural, and economic transformation, they register a critical moment in the history of subjectivity, and connect us to some living roots of psychoanalysis.They challenge us profoundly, in our own conflicted era, to find responses in ourselves to the stranger in our midst.

‘The scope of this book is remarkable. Robert Snell’s meditation on five portraits of mad people by Géricault is the springboard for a fascinating cultural investigation. He surveys two centuries of change in the understanding of human nature, and considers how this is reflected in changing approaches to the treatment of madness.The breadth and depth of scholarship on offer here is exceptional, and this admirable book is an object lesson in the relation of psychoanalysis to the history of ideas.’ — Michael Parsons, British Psychoanalytical Society and French Psychoanalytic Association

Robert Snell is an analytic psychotherapist and art historian, a member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Therapeutic Education at Roehampton University.

 

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Karin Nohr and Sebastian Leikert: Dr Kundry's Failure

The first part of this lecture sets out to investigate reasons for the well-known fact that Wagner's music and in particular his opera Parsifal evokes divergent feelings and promotes polarization among the audience. After exploring the semantic system of music which Leikert calls ‘kinaesthetical’, three principles are put forth that organize it: repetition, seduction, ritualization. Whereas religious ritualization is conservative and norm-orientated, the ethical orientation of art is creative and encourages the subject to broaden in autonomy and in the recognition of their inner world including their conflicts and the tragic aspects of life. The second part of the lecture discusses the question, if and how Wagner in Parsifal contributes to this progressive aim by analyzing the composer’s concept of empathy (Mitleid) and focusing on the Parsifal-Kundry relationship.

Karin Nohr was born in Hamburg, Germany, where she studied literature and psychology. For 20 years she worked as a psychoanalyst and lecturer focusing on the use of imagination in the therapeutic process (book publication: Bahrke, Nohr, Katathym Imaginative Psychotherapie. Lehrbuch der Arbeit mit Imaginationen in psychodynamischen Psychotherapien. Springer 2013) Having all her life played a musical instrument and having completed her training in classical singing, she wrote her Masters’ Thesis on the inner concepts musicians develop of their musical instruments (book publication: Karin Nohr, Der Musiker und sein Instrument. Tübingen, edition diskord 1997, Reprint Psychosozialverlag 2010). Many publications on both themes were to follow, among them one on Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner. Karin Nohr was a founding member of the German Society for Psychoanalysis and Music (www.psychoanalyse-und-musik.de); she has been on the board of this association ever since and been responsible for two annual conferences. Since 2010 she has stopped clinical work and has turned to novel writing. Her publications include: Herr Merse bricht auf. Knaus (Random House 2012) and Vier Paare und ein Ring (Knaus 2013). Both novels have been reprinted as pocket books. She lives in Berlin and in Dünsche/Wendland.

Dr Sebastian Leikert is a practicing Psychoanalyst and Training Analyst based in Saarbrücken in Germany. His main research interests include the psychoanalysis of music and the relationship between aesthetical and psychical processes. His recent publications include ‘Beauty and Conflict – Outline of a General Psychoanalytic Aesthetics’ (2012) and, as editor, ‘On the Psychoanalysis of the Aesthetical Process in Music, Cinema and Painting’ (2015). His article, written for the International Journal of Psychoanalysis entitled, ‘For Beauty is nothing but the barely endurable onset of Terror’ – outline of a general psychoanalytic aesthetics’ is forthcoming. He is also the Chairman and co-founder of the German Society for Psychoanalysis and Music.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Patrick Carnegy in conversation with Robert Lloyd

Since he first visited Bayreuth in 1967 as music critic for The Times, Patrick Carnegy's principal research interest has been the stage history of Wagner's works. He was the first person to be appointed Dramaturg (literary and production adviser) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His interests also include Shakespeare and he was Stratford-upon-Avon theatre critic for The Spectator from 1998 - 2013. Dr Carnegy's books include Faust as Musician (1973), a study of Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus, and Wagner and the Art of the Theatre (2006) which won a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, and in the USA a George Freedley Memorial Award for its 'outstanding contribution to the history of the theatre'. His current work is on Wagner's indebtedness to Shakespeare, on which subject he is lecturing at home and abroad as a contribution to the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Patrick Carnegy: Syberberg's Parsifal and the soul of Germany

Hans Jürgen Syberberg's 1982 film of Parsifal is a psychological exploration of the opera, its roots in Wagner's mind, and its historical afterlife. Abstracted from Amfortas's body, his wound, carried about on a cushion by two female pages, becomes a symbol of Germany's unassuaged shame and guilt, an object of fascination and horror until it can be healed. When Kundry's kiss awakens Parsifal's sexuality, Syberberg sensationally replaces the male hero by a female Parsifal. His idea, in Jungian terms, is that the animus cannot itself complete the therapeutic journey through the psychic labyrinth, for this is given only to the anima, which here also embodies the soul of Germany. Patrick Carnegy offers some reflections on the wondrous complexity and resonance of this brilliant film.

Since he first visited Bayreuth in 1967 as music critic for The Times, Patrick Carnegy's principal research interest has been the stage history of Wagner's works. He was the first person to be appointed Dramaturg (literary and production adviser) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His interests also include Shakespeare and he was Stratford-upon-Avon theatre critic for The Spectator from 1998 - 2013. Dr Carnegy's books include Faust as Musician (1973), a study of Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus, and Wagner and the Art of the Theatre (2006) which won a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, and in the USA a George Freedley Memorial Award for its 'outstanding contribution to the history of the theatre'. His current work is on Wagner's indebtedness to Shakespeare, on which subject he is lecturing at home and abroad as a contribution to the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Tom DeRose: Wagner, Freud and Nietzsche in Berlin

With reference to Dmitri Tcherniakov’s recent Berlin production, this paper will consider the relationship between the character of Gurnemanz in Wagner’s Parsifal and Nietzsche’s conception of the ascetic priest in On the Genealogy of Morals. Although Gurnemanz appears as an un-biased narrator, something akin to the Evangelist in a Bach Passion, just how far removed from the action is he? I will suggest that the insights of Freud and René Girard can help us to gain a deeper understanding not only of this ‘all knowing’ story-teller, but also of the violence which lies at the heart of social systems. 

Tom DeRose is Volunteer Coordinator at the Freud Museum where he helps to organise conferences and runs the Freud Museum reading group. He studied History and Philosophy and has a longstanding interest in the operas of Richard Wagner. 

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Mark Berry: Interpreting Wagner’s Dreams: Staging Parsifal in the Twenty-First Century

Parsifal, like all of Wagner’s dramas, has much to tell us at the intersection of authorial intention and latent content. What is revealed and what is repressed? Dreams were certainly of great importance to Wagner, perhaps most famously in his claim that the Prelude to Das Rheingold had come to him in ‘a kind of somnambulistic state … the feeling of being immersed in rapidly flowing water,’ and indeed in the dramatic material of a number of his works. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is explicitly concerned with the formation of an artwork initially revealed in a dream world. That offers an interesting way to consider stagings of his works too, and their claims to fidelity or otherwise at a textual or allegedly ‘deeper’ level. I shall consider the work ‘itself’ and its adamant claim to stand apart from the operatic repertoire as a Bühnenweihfestspiel (‘stage-festival-consecration-play’) to be confined to his artistic temple at Bayreuth. I shall also consider two particular productions: Stefan Herheim (Bayreuth, 2008-12) and Dmitri Tcherniakov (Berlin, 2015-). How do directors and performers navigate the historical, social, cultural, and psychological distances and conflicts between Wagner’s intentions, his ability and inability to fulfil and perhaps even to transcend those intentions, and the needs of contemporary theatres and audiences? What is gained and what is lost? What, again, is revealed and what is repressed?

Dr Mark Berry is Senior Lecturer in Music at Royal Holloway, University of London. He read History at the University of Cambridge, where he remained for postgraduate and postdoctoral study. He is the author of Treacherous Bonds and Laughing Fire: Politics and Religion in Wagner’s Ring (Ashgate, 2006) and After Wagner: Histories of Modernist Music Drama from ‘Parsifal’ to Nono (Boydell Press, 2014) and has written widely on musical, intellectual, and cultural history from the later seventeenth century to the present day. He is at present writing a biography of Arnold Schoenberg for Reaktion Books and co-editing the Cambridge Companion to Wagner’s ‘Ring of the Nibelung’. He reviews concert and opera performances regularly, and is the author of the ‘Boulezian’ blog.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

 

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Eva Rieger: Kundry’s Kiss and the Fear of Female Desire: A Gender Perspective

“Wagner’s operas are largely dramas of incestuous feelings and urges” writes James M. McGlathery (in Wagner’s Operas and Desire). Lawrence Dreyfus has also made it clear that Wagner was obsessed with sexuality, and this obsession determined the composition of operas such as Tannhäuser, Walküre and Tristan and Isolde. In his opera Parsifal, Wagner creates a female character who shows active sexual desire, and then exorcises her qua Woman for precisely that reason. Whereas men can desire women, the opposite is regarded as dangerous. In previous works, Wagner gives women like Elsa, Brünnhilde, Elisabeth and Sieglinde the power to love in a “feminine” way, but unlike Kundry they do not think of sex. I will trace the role of Kundry as she was developed by Wagner from 1865 onwards, using the development of her role to deduce which characteristics of her personality were important to him. A further clue is given by the music which speaks to us and opens up psychological insights. With respect to the semi-religious content of Parsifal, I find that the idea of gender equality is jettisoned here, which means that one can debate whether Kundry’s death is the result of Wagner’s antisemitism or his antifeminism. Finally, the question arises why Wagner should condemn women’s sexuality in such a manner (and thereby condemn the women themselves), although he was dependent on the emotional and physical love of women throughout his life.

Eva Rieger was Professor of Musicology at the University of Bremen until 2000, when she moved to Vaduz, Liechtenstein. She has worked primarily on the issue of gender and musicology and written biographies of Nannerl Mozart, Minna Wagner and Friedelind Wagner. The latter was published in English (Boydell 2013), as was a study of the female roles in Richard Wagner's operas entitled Wagner’s Women (Boydell 2011). Her book on the singer Frida Leider will be published in 2016 (Frida Leider. Sängerin im Zwiespalt ihrer Zeit (Olms)).

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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December 22, 2016  

Stephen Gee: Wagner’s Parsifal: A Hymn of Purity and Danger

Parsifal, the fool, is thrown out of an ailing religious community after witnessing a mysterious ritual of healing and purification, reluctantly officiated by a disgraced spiritual leader condemned to unremitting agony. In Act 11 he wanders into a magic garden, and almost gets involved in a sort of 19th century chemsex party. Alarmed by the sudden arousal of his desire and the prospect of endless enjoyment, he longs to return to the earlier scene of anguish and humiliation, which he begins to understand for the first time. A nostalgia for the sublime propels him back to the community of knights, where he is met by his penitent seductress, Kundry.

Wagner’s operas have provoked many great philosophers. Some, like Adorno, were hostile to what they saw as an ideological forerunner of 20th Century political catastrophes. Psychoanalysis raises another kind of intellectual challenge. Is Parsifal a menacing premonition of totalitarianism, or does it elaborate with unprecedented complexity the enigmatic after-effect of the trauma of human beings throughout history, who can never predict whether they will survive together in communities continually subverted by unconscious desires?

Stephen Gee is a member and former Chair of The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He has contributed to Site conferences on Winnicott, Lacan, Homosexuality, and Class. He organised a rehearsed reading of Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis followed by a colloquium in which psychoanalysts of different schools talked about the issues raised by the play and the challenges facing people suffering with psychosis. He ran a performance group at the Studio Upstairs where he was also a supervisor. He is a member of the editorial group of the Site's psychoanalytic journal, and has written on the problematic history of psychoanalysis and homosexuality. He interviewed the director Phyllida Lloyd at The Site and at the English National Opera on her 2005 production of Wagner's Ring cycle. He has a private practice in South London and teaches regularly at The Site and on other psychoanalytic trainings.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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Tom Artin: Primal Scene/Primal Wound: The psychoanalytic arc of Parsifal

After they have witnessed the scarlet-suffused ritual revealing the Grail in Act I, Gurnemanz poses to Parsifal the primal question: Weißt du was du sahst? Do you know what you saw? This question is an enigma whose solution becomes the goal of the “pure fool’s” arduous quest. The answer, we will discover, is the primal scene, which, in Act II, is experienced by our hero not just vicariously, but in the flesh viscerally and shatteringly in Kundry’s passionate embrace. “Amfortas! The wound!” Parsifal cries out in retreat from the brink of penetration. In that sudden insight, he is overwhelmed by the reality of the castration threat lurking at the heart of every primal scene. The emotional sequelae following upon erotic enlightenment—guilt, remorse, compassion, and finally absolution—constitute the measured denouement of Parsifal, which culminates in a fantasy of redemption and the illusory resolution of primal anxiety.

Tom Artin is the author most recently of What Parsifal Saw. A previous book, The Wagner Complex; Genesis and Meaning of The Ring, was presented at the Freud Museum’s Freud/Wagner conference in 2013. He has lectured on this book to Richard Wagner Societies in the United States, Austria, and Germany. Other books are The Allegory of Adventure: Reading Chrétien’s Erec and Yvain, and Earth Talk: Independent Voices on the Environment. Artin holds both a B.A. in English Literature, and a Ph D. in Comparative Medieval Literature from Princeton University.

 

In our conference 'Wagner, Freud and the End of Myth' (2013) we argued that by taking the mythic dimension and bringing it into the human realm, Wagner anticipated Freud in his depiction of unconscious processes of the mind. It could be said that Freud and Wagner were dealing with the same stuff - the “fundamental psychosexual issues that affect us all” as Barry Millington put it, and for that reason a fruitful dialogue can exist between their two bodies of work.

The present conference is entirely devoted to Wagner’s final masterpiece, Parsifal, and explores whether this sublime, troubling and contentious work prefigures psychoanalytic insight or resists psychoanalytic interpretation. As a story of compassion and redemption, which nevertheless describes a world of perversion and mental anguish, what can Parsifal tell us about the secret springs of human desire and the conflicts of human nature? And how did Wagner manage to create it?

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The Journeys of Anna Freud's Alpine Furniture

 

In conjunction with the Austrian Cultural Forum

 

Nine decorated chests and cupboards of Alpine origin stand in today’s Freud Museum. Anna Freud bought this rustic furniture in 1930 and used it to furnish the country house in the Vienna Woods which she shared with Dorothy Burlingham. When the Freuds fled Vienna in 1938 Dorothy Burlingham sent the furniture to the US. After the war this furniture returned to Europe, to the new summer house that Anna and Dorothy had bought in Walberswick on the east coast of England, and from there back to London, to Maresfield Gardens.


This year this much travelled furniture has formed the starting point for an exhibition at the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art in Vienna, recreated through digital photography in the museum’s permanent display of similar pieces. These images transfer Anna Freud’s furniture back to Vienna, playing with ideas of remembering, place and time. The displays connect the Vienna of then and now with the London of yesterday and today, bringing the present together with the past.


This talk adds another layer to this complex story, bringing the exhibit from Vienna – the recreation of Anna Freud’s furniture – back to London, and reunites the recreated versions with the originals.


The exhibition curator Birgit Johler explores the story of the furniture in Freud’s Dining Room and how she created this extraordinary and innovative exhibition.


She is joined in the discussion by:


Anne-Marie Sandler, psychoanalyst, Director of the Anna Freud Centre from 1993 -1996, friend and colleague of Anna Freud


Bettina von Zwehl, Artist in residence, Anna Freud project 2013-14, and exhibiting at the Freud Museum June-July 2016


Carol Seigel, Director, Freud Museum London

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Freud's turn to Greek myth is very well known. His Oedipus emerges out of a long history of nineteenth-century obsessions with ancient Greece. But Freud's psychoanalysis of Greek myth was also a response to the nineteenth-century sexological fascination with the sexual decadence of ancient Rome. This talk explores the intriguing story of how the obscene and erotic verse of Roman epigram became an authoritative language for nineteenth-century sexual science, in order to ask, how and why did Freud's interest in Greek myth emerge out of the obscene sexual Latin of Richard von Krafft-Ebing's 1886 book Psychopathia Sexualis, the most famous work of sexology in the nineteenth century?

Sex: Antiquity and it Legacy is published by I.B.Tauris (February, 2013).

Dr Daniel Orrells is Lecturer in Ancient Greek Language and Literature at King's College London. His research examines the presence of classical antiquity in modern cultural, literary and intellectual history. His most recent book Sex: Antiquity and its Legacy offers a fresh, new narrative about the importance of the ancient world for the development of sexology and psychoanalysis.
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July 19, 2016  

Lament: Bettina von Zwehl in conversation with Josh Cohen

Lament is a new publication by Art/Books, which features two series of images by artist Bettina von Zwehl with new writing by psychoanalyst Josh Cohen. Cohen’s two texts are interwoven amongst the images, one a critical reflection on light and shadow, the other a poetic tale inspired by the torn photographs.

This evening they will discuss both the publication and von Zwehl’s exhibition Invitation to Frequent the Shadows, on display at the Museum 7 June – 17 July 2016.

Lament is published by Art/Books (July, 2016). Available from the Museum shop.

Bettina von Zwehl lives and works in London. She has an MA Fine Art Photography from the Royal College of Art and BA (Hons) Photography from the London College of Printing. Recent solo exhibitions include Album 31, (with Sophy Rickett), 2015, Fotogaleriet, Oslo, Norway, touring to The Library of Birmingham, UK; Purdy Hicks, London (2014 and 2011); Road to 2012, Setting Out, commissioned by National Portrait Gallery, London, 2010; and The Photographers’ Gallery, 2005. Group exhibitions include Facing Histories, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2015; Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present, National Gallery, London and touring to Fundacio La Caixa, Madrid, Spain, 2012 and In Repose, The Galleries at Moore, Philadelphia El Cuerpo (con) sentido: una (re)presentación visual, Centro de Historia, Zaragosa, 2008. Her work is held in many collections including Arts Council, London; British Council, London; Sammlung Spallart, Salzburg, Austria; Guggenheim, New York and Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

Josh Cohen is a practising psychoanalyst and Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Private Life: Why We Remain in the Dark (2013), which won the BMA Board of Science Chair’s Choice Award for 2014 and was longlisted for the JQ/Wingate Literary Award, How to Read Freud (2005), Interrupting Auschwitz: Art, Religion, Philosophy (2003) and Spectacular Allegories: Postmodern American Writing and the Politics of Seeing (1998). He writes regularly for the TLS, Guardian, Prospect and New Statesman and is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society.

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July 19, 2016  
Author's Talk: Imogen Racz

Building on research from my recent book Art and the Home: Comfort, Alienation and the Everyday, this talk will consider how post-war sculptors have addressed ideas of the domestic uncanny. In order for these works to have resonance viewers needs to empathetically engage, and allow for a blurring between consciousness and the material world. They project onto the objects and installations their own understanding of reality.

Freud wrote about how relationships with the world and society are veiled by customs and accepted ideas of normality. His essay ‘The Uncanny’ discussed how feelings of dread and unease could be conjured and felt. This was influential with surrealist artists, but what will be discussed here are artists working later, but who show influence of those ideas, including Louise Bourgeois, Mona Hatoum and Gregor Schneider.

Art and the Home: Comfort, Alienation and the Everyday is published by I.B.Tauris (January, 2015). Available from the Museum shop.

Dr Imogen Racz is Senior Lecturer in the History of Art at Coventry University. She has published two books and written many articles. Her recent book Art and the Home; Comfort, Alienation and the Everyday, (I. B. Tauris 2015) is a thematic investigation into how post-war artists interpreted the abstract concepts that we have about the home, including enclosure, alienation, sentiment, female space, and the unmade house. Her current research has been focusing on the sculptor and photographer Helen Chadwick, placing her work of the 1980s into its artistic, theoretical and social contexts. This forms part of a larger, ongoing exploration of 1980s sculptural practices in Britain, especially that of women artists.

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This presentation locates understanding of psychosis from an attachment perspective within its historical context, present concerns about the treatment of the mentally ill and explores how attachment theory can inform future understanding of the mentally ill. Disorganised attachment is argued to be intimately linked with psychosis despite Bowlby’s early modesty about how attachment theory could inform our understanding of psychosis. Attachment theory’s stress on the importance of grief, separation, trauma and violence are highlighted as causal factors in the aetiology of mental illness, and important issues to address as part of the healing or recovery. The experience of psychosis are conceptualised within their relational and social context, and therapeutic relationships and social change are proposed as being the treatments of choice.

Kate Brown is a Bowlby Centre trained UKCP registered attachment based psychoanalytic psychotherapist who started her career in therapeutic communities working with adults with a variety of mental health difficulties, and with adolescents individually and in groups. She has worked with young mothers and in mainstream community psychiatric services with patients’ families. She has also provided time limited therapy with former servicemen who had experienced complex trauma. She teaches at The Bowlby Centre and has also delivered freelance training. Kate completed an MSc in psychotherapeutic approaches in mental health in 2012. She is a member of the Attachment Journal editorial group, former chair of the clinical forum at The Bowlby Centre. Kate has recently begun a PhD in the psychoanalysis department at Middlesex University in the history of the therapeutic community movement and the treatment of trauma. Kate has recently moved to Bournemouth where she will be developing a private practice.

From the 'Psychosis and Psychoanalysis', a conference organised in collaboration with the Psychosis Therapy Project, a therapy service for people experiencing psychosis.
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In the period following the end of the second world war in Britain, Kleinian psychoanalysis rapidly established itself as an influential paradigm for the treatment and understanding of the psychoses, within both psychoanalytical and medically minded psychiatric circles. Medically qualified psychoanalysts such as Hanna Segal, Herbert Rosenfeld and Wilfred Bion all made seminal contributions and the institutional approval and establishment ratification of their work, continues to be strongly felt to this day. In this paper, we will take up some arguments from the Canadian philosopher of science Ian Hacking, in order to look again at the tightly prescribed clinical techniques of Kleinian psychoanalysis of the period, especially in terms of the relationship between the social conditions of their analytic frame and the kind of theory of the psychoses this frames enables. In the twenty-first century, as we continue to battle to understand and provide effective treatments for those experiencing severe emotional distress, this paper hopes to remind us of the sensitive connection between the way in which we build theories of the mind out of the way we work with our patients and, in turn, the effect these theories have on those who seek our help.

Barry Watt is a psychoanalyst in private practice and a member of the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He is one of the senior practitioners at the Psychosis Therapy Project as well as a housing advocate and community activist.

From the 'Psychosis and Psychoanalysis', a conference organised in collaboration with the Psychosis Therapy Project, a therapy service for people experiencing psychosis.

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Starting from the hypothesis that psychosis makes up a structure, with a precise status for the unconscious, Stijn Vanheule explores how, from a Lacanian point of view, the treatment of psychosis is organized. Special attention is paid to the specificity of the psychotic symptom, or elementary phenomenon, and to the way transference characteristically takes shape. Crucial to this approach of treatment is that the psychoanalyst aims at restoring a place for the subject in relation to the Other, which is threatened in episodes of acute psychosis.

Stijn Vanheule is professor of psychoanalysis and chair of the Department of Psychoanalysis and Clinical Consulting at Ghent University (Belgium), and a psychoanalyst in private practice (member of the New Lacanian School for Psychoanalysis and World Association of Psychoanalyse). He is the author of The Subject of Psychosis – A Lacanian Perspective(Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and Diagnosis and the DSM – A Critical Review (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and of multiple papers on Lacanian and Freudian psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic research into psychopathology, and clinical psychodiagnostics.

From the 'Psychosis and Psychoanalysis', a conference organised in collaboration with the Psychosis Therapy Project, a therapy service for people experiencing psychosis.

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Author's talk: Davina Quinlivan introduced by Caroline Bainbridge

Filming the Body in Crisis examines the representation of the body and the ethical, psychological and embodied implications of viewing bodies on screen across a range of moving image media and mainstream films. The book draws on the work of Melanie Klein and Sigmund Freud, and is focused on notions of object relations and embodied film spectatorship, looking at a range of contemporary films including The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick), A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg), Psychiatry and Broadmoor in the work of Pat McGrath, Hunger (Steve McQueen), Blue (Derek Jarman) and the films of Atom Egoyan.

Dr. Davina Quinlivan is a Senior Lecturer in Performance and Screen Studies at Kingston University. Her first book, The Place of Breath in Cinema (EUP, 2012), examined the locus of the breathing body, gender, inter-subjectivity and corporeality in the films of Lars von Trier, Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg with the philosophy of Luce Irigaray. She has published in many journals including Screen, Studies in French Cinema, for which she won the first Susan Hayward Prize for the Best Postgraduate Article in 2010, and Music, Sound and the Moving Image. While she has regularly contributed to the Times Higher Education culture section, her film journalism has also appeared in Dazed and Confused, Little White Lies, Sight and Sound, Vertigo and Litro. She is currently working on notions of girlhood and female expression and developing a book on women and the politics of movement.

Caroline Bainbridge is Professor of Culture and Psychoanalysis at the University of Roehampton, where she teaches and researches in the Department of Media, Culture and Language. She has published widely on matters linked to psychoanalysis and popular culture in journals such as Screen and Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. With Candida Yates, she founded the Media and the Inner World research network (www.miwnet.org) in 2009 and, together, they have edited special editions of PCS and Free Associations, as well as several anthologies including, most recently, Television and Psychoanalysis: Psychocultural perspectives (Karnac 2013) and Media and the Inner World: Psycho-cultural approaches to emotion, media and popular culture (Palgrave Macmillan 2014). Caroline is the author of A Feminine Cinematics: Luce Irigaray, women and film (Palgrave Macmillan 2008) and The Cinema of Lars von Trier (Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press 2007). She is Editor of Free Associations, series editor (with Candida Yates) of the Karnac Psychoanalysis and Popular Culture book list, and Film Section Editor of The International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Her current work takes as its focus processes of mediation and popular cultural politics. It has a particular emphasis on group dynamics, allowing her to draw on her experience as a trained organisational consultant.

Filming the Body in Crisis: Trauma, Healing and Hopefulness is published by Palgrave (2015)
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This afternoon’s symposium explores how artists and writers use the creative process to face and work through traumatic and painful experiences of loss.

Part 2: Fay Ballard, artist, in conversation with writer Jeremy Gavron, author of A Woman on the Edge of Time, discussing how the early and unexpected deaths of their mothers – Fay’s of a sudden acute illness, Jeremy’s by suicide – has had a profound influence on their lives and work.

Chaired by Esther Dreifuss-Kattan.

The death of her mother in 1964 when Fay was seven, and of her father, the novelist J G Ballard, in 2009, became the catalyst for major change in her work. Clearing the family home, Fay began to draw her mother from discovered photos as well as family possessions which evoked strong memories. These drawings were exhibited in ‘House Clearance’ at Eleven Spitalfields Gallery, London in 2014, at & Model Gallery Leeds in 2015 alongside new work.

A Woman on the Edge of Time is Jeremy Gavron’s moving memoir of his mother, Hannah Gavron, who committed suicide in 1965 when he was only four. Bright, sophisticated, and swept up in the progressive politics of the 1960s, Hannah was a promising academic and the wife of a rising entrepreneur.

Searching for the mother who was never talked about as he grew up, Gavron discovers letters, diaries, and photos that paint a picture of a brilliant but complex young woman grappling to find an outlet for her creativity, sexuality, and intelligence. Piecing together the events that led to his mother's suicide, Gavron discovers that Hannah's success came at a price, and that the pressures she faced as she carved out her place in a man's world may have contributed to her death.

'I was mesmerised by Jeremy Gavron's extraordinary memoir of his mother ... It's one of those works that cross over into the real life so justly that all of life is better understood by it.' Ali Smith

About the book:

Art and Mourning: The role of creativity in healing trauma and loss, by Esther Dreifuss Kattan, Routledge 2016

Esther Dreifuss-Kattan explores the relationship between creativity and the work of self-mourning in the lives of 20th century artists and thinkers. The role of artistic and creative endeavours is well-known within psychoanalytic circles in helping to heal in the face of personal loss, trauma, and mourning.

In this book, Esther Dreifuss-Kattan analyses the work of major modernist and contemporary artists and thinkers through a psychoanalytic lens. In coming to terms with their own mortality, figures like Albert Einstein, Louise Bourgeois, Paul Klee, Eva Hesse and others were able to access previously unknown reserves of creative energy in their late works, as well as a new healing experience of time outside of the continuous temporality of everyday life.

Dreifuss-Kattan explores what we can learn about using the creative process to face and work through traumatic and painful experiences of loss. Art and Mourning will inspire psychoanalysts and psychotherapists to understand the power of artistic expression in transforming loss and traumas into perseverance, survival and gain.

Art and Mourning offers a new perspective on trauma and will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, psychologists, clinical social workers and mental health workers, as well as artists and art historians.

Biographies:

Dr. Esther Dreifuss-Kattan is a psychoanalyst, psychotherapist and art therapist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Esther Dreifuss-Kattan is the President Elect of the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. She works with adults of all ages, adolescents and children. Given Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan’s own artistic background, she specializes in helping clients who are involved in various creative pursuits.

Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan’s second specialty is working with adult and paediatric cancer patients/survivors and their families as well as those with chronic pain. In addition to her private practice, she also works extensively with Los Angeles-based organizations devoted to treating those with illness.

She received her PhD in Psychoanalysis from the Southern California Institute of Psychoanalysis, now the New Center for Psychoanalysis, and earned another in Art Therapy and Psychooncology from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan is currently a senior faculty member at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. Her published books and articles center on clinical practice, theory in psychoanalysis and art, art therapy and psychooncology. She lectures nationally and internationally.

Jane McAdam Freud MA RCA is a sculptor and multi-disciplinary artist educated at the Royal College of Art and is a recipient of the British Art Medal Scholarship in Rome. McAdam Freud exhibits internationally, holding twenty solo shows since 1996. Jane's work has been acquired for numerous Public Collections including the British Museum, V&A, National Gallery Archives, and the National Gallery of Greece.

Fay Ballard studied History of Art at Sussex University in the late 1970s and worked at the Museum of London, Royal Academy of Arts and Tate, where she was involved in the creation of Tate Modern. She completed an MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s in 2006.

Commissioned by The Prince of Wales to paint flora at Highgrove, her plant portraits have been exhibited widely. Fay was elected to the Royal Watercolour Society in 2007 and served as a trustee of Camden Arts Centre and the Victoria Miro Education Trust.

Fay is a member of the Drawing Room Professional Network. She teaches, most recently, at the RCA and Camberwell Art School.

Jeremy Gavron is the author of two non-fiction books and three novels, including The Book of Israel, winner of the Encore Award, and An Acre of Barren Ground. A former foreign correspondent in Africa and India, he lives now in London, and teaches at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.

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