Art in the Offertorium: Narcissism, Psychoanalysis, and by Harvey Giesbrecht, Charles Levin

By Harvey Giesbrecht, Charles Levin

This publication proposes a brand new method of the matter of aesthetic adventure in Western tradition. Noting how paintings global phenomena evoke traditional psychoanalytic speculations approximately narcissism, the authors flip the tables and "apply" aesthetic questions and issues to psychoanalytic conception. Experimenting with Freudian and post-Freudian strategies, they suggest a non-normative thought of the psychic force to deal with and embody deep tensions within the post-Renaissance aesthetic undertaking, the increase of modernism, and the modern paintings international. it really is argued that those tensions replicate principal conflicts within the improvement of patriarchal civilization, which the emergence of the cultured area, as a really good diversity of perform, exposes and subverts. The postmodern period of aesthetic mirrored image is interpreted because the final result of a posh narcissistic dialectic of idealization and de-idealization that's major for the certainty of latest tradition and its historic clients.

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Extra resources for Art in the Offertorium: Narcissism, Psychoanalysis, and Cultural Metaphysics (Contemporary Psychoanalytic Studies, Volume 15)

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A Messianic cessation of happening, or, put differently, a revolutionary chance in the fight for the oppressed past. (pp. 262–263) This is a “‘time of the now’ which is shot through with chips of Messianic time” (p. 263), not un-like Bion’s transformation in O. The time of the offertorium is outside the time of the ego, outside “progress” and civilization, praeter legem; it is in but not of this world. Benjamin described progress, or ego time, as a “homogeneous, empty” (p. 261) medium, an opportunity for omnipotent control in which progress is understood not merely as a reasonable advance in human abilities or knowledge, but as the grandiose authoritarian (civilized) phantasy of “the progress of mankind itself .

262). In this way, NARCISSISM WITHOUT APOLOGY 33 thinking involves not only the flow of thoughts, but their arrest as well. Where thinking suddenly stops in a configuration pregnant with tensions, it gives that configuration a shock, by which it crystallizes into . . a Messianic cessation of happening, or, put differently, a revolutionary chance in the fight for the oppressed past. (pp. 262–263) This is a “‘time of the now’ which is shot through with chips of Messianic time” (p. 263), not un-like Bion’s transformation in O.

The point is that prior to the twentieth century, and the rise of the offertorium, visual art might have mistaken itself for painting, or sculpture. Now this Imaginary selfmisrecognition is too difficult to sustain, which makes all aesthetic activity unconsciously aware of the tensions inherent in its own energy, at the “limits of the diaphane,” to borrow a phrase from James Joyce’s Ulysses; (see chapters five and six). The fact that some contemporary works of art seem to provide unique examples of this entanglement with narcissism can be misleading.

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