Language changes in psychosis. Words become the floating signifiers of a mad Other who takes up a place in speech. Speech elements connect to nothing, have no meaning whatsoever and disrupt the meaning that was unfolding. These elements, whether heard or spoken, are foreign to the speaker, and create a profound sense of disorder with respect to speaking. She cannot find her place in language. He questions if his thoughts are actually his, and concludes they are not. How is it possible then to orientate oneself in language once language becomes a puzzling body of signs, bewildering signs without a code or key? In response to the experience of language derailed, artists in psychosis make clocks, calendars, numbers, music and scripts, the infinite unfolding of codes. The images of these artists attest to the work of repair through what I call "incandescent alphabets", a new orientation in time, space and language. I argue that art made in psychosis shows us something of the structure of our earliest experience of language and of our origins.
Berkeley City Club
2315 Durant Avenue
Saturday, October 7, 2017
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Annie G Rogers, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychoanalysis and Clinical Psychology at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Co-Director of its Psychoanalytic Studies Program. She is an Analyst Member and Faculty at the Lacanian School of San Francisco and Associate Member of the Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland. Dr. Rogers has a psychoanalytic practice in Amherst, Mass. A recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University; a Whiting Fellowship at Hampshire College, and an Erikson Scholar at Austin Riggs; she is author of "A Shining Affliction" (Penguin Viking, 1995) and "The Unsayable" (Random House, 2006), in addition to numerous scholarly articles, short fiction and poetry. Her most recent book is, "Incandescent Alphabets: Psychosis and the Enigma of Language" (Karnac, 2016)
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