The concepts of Jacques Lacan are, alongside the work of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, important for understanding our up to date world. Whereas homages and exhibitions have already examined most of those mental figures, the considered Lacan has not been handled in museums so far, regardless that he was strongly hooked up to artworks. In a textual content dedicated to the work of Marguerite Duras, Lacan declared that “in his supplies, the artist all the time […] precedes him [the analyst] and so he doesn’t must play the psychologist the place the artist has paved the best way for him” (“Hommage fait à Marguerite Duras du Ravissement de Lol V Stein” (1965), Autres écrits, Paris, Seuil, 2001).
The exhibition on the Centre Pompidou-Metz would be the first devoted to Jacques Lacan. Over 40 years after the psychoanalyst’s demise, it appeared pressing to plan an exhibition highlighting the distinctive hyperlinks between Jacques Lacan and artwork, by placing into perspective the works he himself referenced, the artists who paid tribute to him, in addition to the trendy and up to date works that may present an echo to the nice conceptual orientations of his thought.
Lacan opened up an progressive house that’s on the coronary heart of our modernity and of our up to date expertise. At present we’re debating problems with intercourse, love, id, gender, energy, perception or disbelief, all questions for which the psychoanalyst supplied valuable reference factors.
The go to must be seen and skilled as a journey by specifical Lacanian notions, starting with the “mirror stage,” which has fascinated so many artists and film-makers. Then, the exhibition evokes the idea of “Lalangue,” a phrase invented by Lacan to explain a type and performance of language that’s extra intently linked to what the psychoanalyst referred to as the Actual, and which echoes the work of artists who’ve performed with phrases, double meanings, babbling and even the language of birds, whereas not forgetting its hyperlinks with poetry. “The Identify of the Father” part will likely be an opportunity to rethink the notion of patriarchy. Subsequent, is a piece on “object a,” Lacan’s invention to explain the article that’s the reason for need as a scarcity, the rest and fall. Will probably be deployed in a spread of variations: fall, phallus, breast, physique fragments, shit, voice, nothing, gaze and lastly gap.
The chapter dedicated to Gustave Courbet’s L’Origine du monde will likely be a vital a part of the go to. Lacan and his spouse Sylvia purchased the portray in 1955. They saved it hidden behind a panel designed by André Masson. It has given rise to many up to date interpretations. Though Lacan by no means spoke in regards to the Courbet he owned, he devoted 4 classes in his Seminar XIII to analysing Las Meninas by Diego Velásquez, and likewise refers back to the Portrait of the Infanta Maria Marguerita within the Louvre. This part is a celebration of the portray, an icon of the very act of portray, which Lacan analysed intimately, even declaring the slit inserted into the Infante’s gown.
“The Lady doesn’t exist” part is devoted to Lacan’s well-known phrase, underlining the truth that there is no such thing as a essence of girl, and exhibits the works of artists questioning misogynous representations. Femininity is usually multifaceted, and “the masquerade” part can pay homage to Joan Riviere’s idea, which was taken up by Lacan. The masquerade is featured within the work of many trendy and up to date artists making use of transvestism, confirming Lacan’s place that anatomy isn’t future, which means that gender doesn’t essentially correspond to the intercourse assigned at beginning.
In accordance with Lacan’s well-known phrase, “There aren’t any sexual relations.” That is the identify of a piece organised round a reproduction of Duchamp’s The Massive Glass, the place the bride’s enjoyment of delight within the higher realm happens with none bodily contact with the bachelors within the decrease realm. For Lacan, love is “what replaces the absence of sexual relations” (Encore, Seminar, E-book XX, textual content edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, Paris, Seuil, 1975), however can also be what opens the best way to jouissance or enjoyment—“Solely love causes jouissance to stoop to need” (L’Angoisse, Seminar E-book X, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, Paris, Seuil, 2004). A bit will discover “enjoyment,” feminine pleasure, to begin with, epitomised within the mystical transports expressed in Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Teresa and its up to date incarnations within the works of Anselm Kiefer, ORLAN, and even the performances of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
The final years of the psychoanalyst’s instructing had been largely dedicated to topology, to Borromean knots, Möbius strips and Klein bottles. The final part of the exhibition displays each Lacan’s curiosity within the knots and braiding produced by François Rouan, an artist he met on the Villa Médicis, and for whom he wrote a textual content, and the affect of Lacan’s topological preoccupations on up to date artists. The go to concludes with a cupboard of curiosities, entitled Curiosa, displaying how the determine of Jacques Lacan continues to be an infinite supply of inspiration for the artists of our time.
As an introduction to the exhibition, an in depth biography recollects the primary levels within the life and work of Jacques Lacan. Guests come into contact together with his particular person and voice from the doorway, by way of his solely tv look, filmed by the younger Benoît Jacquot in 1974. This a part of the exhibition will point out his coaching with the person he thought-about as “his solely instructor in psychiatry” (Écrits, Paris, Seuil, 1966), Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault; his relations with the avant-garde (Salvador Dalí, André Masson, Georges Bataille, Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar) and with the mental figures he was involved with (Alexandre Kojève, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Roman Jakobson, Henri Lévi-Strauss, Martin Heidegger, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault). His love of calligraphy and Chinese language thought can also be talked about.
Lacan had a detailed relationship with the artwork and artists of the twentieth century and continually delved into the artwork of all ages in his instructing. He mentioned artwork in new and strange methods, attracting, intriguing and upsetting many up to date artists. He noticed artwork works not solely as having the ability to indicate us the world, but additionally as dazzling viewpoint-objects taking purpose at viewers. By devoting an exhibition to Jacques Lacan, we need to collect a variety of viewpoints about this fascinating determine.
All that is far faraway from a psychoanalytical interpretation of artists. The psychoanalyst is kind of the alternative of a grasp: she or he is a pupil of artwork, docile to artwork’s authentic truths, and aiming to decipher the beforehand unsuspected information it comprises. That’s the reason this exhibition isn’t solely a homage to psychoanalysis: it additionally celebrates what stays behind, in any case elucidation, the thriller of artwork. Lacan, on the finish of his life, noticed issues no otherwise.
Marie-Laure Bernadac and Bernard Marcadé
at Centre Pompidou-Metz
till Could 27, 2024