The Psychoanalytic Image

01 October 2021 → 30 September 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Literatures in German
    • Literatures in Italian
    • Literary theory
    • Psychology of literature
    • History of art
psychoanalysis image drawing
Project description

The Psychoanalytic Image will be devoted to the role of images and more generally to the role of representation in the development of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic discourse. Spanning Winnicott’s “squiggles” to Lacan’s blackboard drawings, the project will examine the importance of images and imaging in constructing the foundations of Freudian and post-Freudian thought. The myriad of drawings and sketches produced by some of the twentieth century’s most eminent psychoanalysts (Ferenczi, Klein, Winnicott, and Lacan) constitute a visual document of many of psychoanalysis’ major theoretical innovations, including hysteria, melancholia, the ego/superego/id, transitional objects, attachment theory, anxiety, obsessional neurosis, psychosis, desire, and aggressive position. These drawings offer privileged access into work processes, both conscious and unconscious, as practitioners think en route and create not-yet fully fleshed out concepts or relations. Based upon archival research and close readings of philosophical, aesthetic, and psychoanalytical theories, The Psychoanalytic Image will address the role of the visual as a catalyst of psychoanalytic thinking using the working drawings of the psychoanalyst as a primary subject set. If one of the major claims of psychoanalysis was the discovery of the unconscious, the recovery of the image as an Entwurf [draft] for psychoanalytic theory positions it as an essential part of psychoanalysis’ own, if hidden, unconscious.