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The Mastering of the Drive in African Art and its Collecting: An Interview with Julien Quackelbeen, March, 2006

This interview explores the origins of the African art collection of the psychoanalyst Julien Quackelbeen. A small Ikoko mask of the Pende tribe was the first object in his collection. This was given to him when he was just five years old and was then stolen. In this way it was to become the mythical first object of the collection he has been cultivating for more than seventy years. His fascination for Congolese art lies in what he calls “the mastering of the drive” which this art witnesses so strongly. This mastering of the drive is also implied in collecting in general. Several of its aspects are highlighted: the urge to possess, the financial aspect, fetishism, the viewing pleasure.


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