The article presents the “psychoanalytical playing” method used as part of a project inspired by psychoanalysis set in place by the writer collaborating with the contemporary artist Patrick Corillon, for the purpose of clarifying the process of artistic creation in the artist’s work. This method is based on the Winnicottian view of the psychoanalytical session as play, occurring in the overlap of two potential spaces of playing. While it is a part of the artist’s creative process, “psychoanalytical playing” has certain features in common with conventional psychoanalysis, although it also differs in many other respects. The material provided by this methodological device, along with a study of Patrick Corillon’s work, led the author to advance the hypothesis of a fantasy of immortality operating as the “driving force” of the artist’s creative process, and to detect the traces of an unconscious immortal Ego, as formulated by André Green in his book Life Narcissism Death Narcissism (2001).
Le Benshi d’Angers (The Benshi of Angers, 2011), a performance by the contemporary artist Patrick Corillon, during which the artist tells the story of a fictive daydream, constitutes the starting point of this contribution. The author’s analysis of the work has led him to consider whether Freud’s “Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming” (1908e ), in which he postulates a relation between “phantasy” and literary creation, may clarify the creative process that generated the artist’s work. In answer to this question, the author refines Freud’s hypothesis, for Corillon’s work, by arguing for a relationship between the creation of narrative fiction and sleep fantasy, as conceived by Pierre Fédida. The artist benefits from moments of insomnia in order to transform them into creative moments and during this creative process the “potential space” may engender itself. This hypothesis is consolidated by the study of a second work by Patrick Corillon, La Forêt des Origines (The Wood of the Origins, 2008).
Starting from the biography and evolution of the art of Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky, a psychobiographical hypothesis is formulated concerning an important shift in the artist’s work, namely, his choosing to combine painting with calligraphy and writing. This “choice” was made when the artist found himself in an artistic impasse. It is shown how the signifier “graph” appears over and over again in his artistic evolution and apparently functions as a master signifier. Based on biographical material from his childhood, it is argued that the left-handed Alechinsky, in choosing calligraphic painting, was able to circumvent the Oedipal threat and, in so doing, could identify himself with the desire of his mother who, not coincidentally, was a graphologist.
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In this contribution the work of Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky is analysed from an interdisciplinary perspective. First, within the perspective of art history, the author traces the trajectory of the artist starting from his encounters with the Cobra movement, the Chinese artist Walasse Ting and the Japanese calligraphers, to the use of acrylic during the elaboration of a painted handwriting that characterises his work and that is partially determined by childhood experiences. Then, the author delves deeper into this work by elaborating a psychoanalytic hypothesis. Starting from the insistence of the signifier “graph” in the artistic trajectory and in the discourse of the artist, and using the method proposed by Freud in his essay on Leonardo da Vinci and the paradigm of dream interpretation, the hypothesis is formulated that, during the elaboration process of his own painted handwriting, the artist identifies himself with the desire of his mother, who had a passion for graphology. Moreover, it is argued that the left-handed “written” paintings take root in the unconscious of the left-handed Alechinsky.
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