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Art and psychoanalysis: An inspirational encounter

The sixth colloquium of A.L.E.P.H. (11/12/2004-12/12/2004) united psychoanalysts, art historians, philosophers and artists in the Fine Arts Museum of Tourcoing on the theme “Art and Psychoanalysis”. In this article, three authors reflect on what touched them during this colloquium and on what resonated with them afterwards. Jean-Pierre Van Eeckhout was inspired by the detail in which the particular is expressed and he emphasizes the value of the “scene” in “body art”. Sarah Willems saw this colloquium as an invitation to listen psychoanalytically to contemporary art and to comment on the psychoanalytical interpretation of an art work as a symptom. This idea particularly concerned Els Buytaert whose interest is in creative therapy. Each author offers some considerations from their particular field of activity and suggest that the encounter between art and psychoanalysis paves the way for an inspiring journey.

Care and Repetition: About good, truth and writing

This article deals with the formidable challenge of repetition for therapeutic or educational care. Two forms of repetition are differentiated: one driven by the Oedipal life drive, the other by the death drive. Through a close reading of the classic myth of Oedipus Rex, the encounter of these forms of repetition is demonstrated. This myth also offers three main perspectives from which this work may be grasped: good, truth and writing. Originating in a project for abandoned children in a school for special education (De Sassepoort), the possible benefits of assisting children through writing is supported.

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Symbol and metaphor

The symbolic dimension occupies a central position in the constitution of the subject and of the social field. It is argued that the function of the symbol and its effects on the psychical apparatus and on clinical practise are elucidated by psychoanalytic theory . The author starts with a discussion of the parallel Freud draws between psychogenesis and sociogenesis., The symbol is pivotal in these processes and is characterised by its ability (i) to generate sense and (ii) to connect subject and other (social bond). Both characteristics equally define metaphor. With reference to psychopathology, the function of both symbol and metaphor is highlighted in the process of the coming-into-being of the subject.

Freud’s “Project” – A purloined letter

The present article, based on more detailed work by the author (Wegener, 2004) deals with Freud’s Project of a Scientific Psychology. Taking into account the con¬text in which the manuscript was written in 1895, namely, Freud’s correspondence with Wilhelm Fließ, the Project is seen as a letter in the proper sense of the word and, there¬fore, is distinguished from writing intended for publication. Published posthumously and surreptitiously in 1950, it is read as a purloined letter. Lacan’s revisiting of the Project and his interpretation of it as a Schreibspiel, as well as the genesis of Freud’s letter, are stud¬ied. Here, the author focuses more specifically on the precarious position of the neurons in the Project and finally on the function of Fließ as addressee of the Project and as Freud’s Other.

Reflections on the structure and finality of psychoanalytic interpretations

This article differentiates between two forms of interpretation: symbolic and imaginary. It is argued that an analytic interpretation always revisits a symbolic interpretation made by the subject, resulting in the subject also making an imaginary interpretation.. Furthermore, a psychoanalytic interpretation can only be of service to the analytic cure if the analyst makes a cut between the (revisiting of the symbolic) interpretation made by the analyst and the imaginary interpretation made by the analysand.

Some reflections on urgency, crisis and psychiatry

Some reflections on urgency, psychiatry and the position of the analyst are the main themes of this article. First of all he takes an historical detour via the figure of Gia¬como Casanova. With his work Ma voisine, la postérité the author compares a medical emergency with the sort of crisis intervention inspired by psychoanalysis. In the second part of the article a crisis is viewed as a place of rime/rhyme – crisis as a frozen discourse of the subject, beyond the deceptive glitter. Concepts from Lacan’s seminar on transfer¬ence and from Winnicott are used to support this view. The goal of this article is to argue in favour of a place for the odd (anti-rhyme) in the work with subjects in crisis. This in¬fluences the position of the analyst.