Friday May 31st
7.00-11.00pm: Opening Reception and Exhibition Opening at Exercise (147 Main St.)
Saturday June 1st (At SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. 149 West Hastings St)
9.45-10am: Opening Remarks: Hilda Fernandez
10.00-11.30am: Panel 1 – Clinics and Ethics
Jorge Santiago: Beyond Full and Empty Speech
Hilda Fernandez: Clinical Structures and the Ethical Challenge to the Analyst
Michael H. Hejazi: Determinate Self-Signification and the Neurobiology of Reality Processing
11.30-12.00pm: RESPONSE AND DISCUSSION (Discussant: Dr. Paul Verhaeghe)
12.00-1.30pm: LUNCH (off site)
1.30-3.00: Panel 2 – Lived Structures
Christine Evans: Plus-de-Jouir, Plus A: The work of Love
Theo Reeves-Evison: After Transgression: Ethics Under a Different Master
Emily Aoife Somers: Losstalgia and the Cisgender: Satô Kayo’s Visual Autobiography and Japanese Transphobia
3.00-3.30pm: RESPONSE AND DISCUSSION (Discussant: Chris Dzierzawa)
3.30-5.00pm: Panel 3 – 21st Century Symbolic
Clint Burnham: Desire: Lacan for Artists
Wayne Robinson: From Chè Vuoi? to Qui Jouit?: The Indictment to (not) Enjoy In The Twenty-First Century
Jessica De La Ossa; Mohammed Rafi Arefin; Sarah A. Moore: Hoarding as Structure: Insights into the Modern Subject's Relation to (Wasted) Objects
5.00-5.30pm: RESPONSE AND DISCUSSION (Discussant: Paul Kingsbury)
8.00-9.30: Dr. Paul Verhaeghe on Louis Bourgeois’ Diaries at The Western Front as a part of Scrivener’s Monthly
9.30-11.00pm: Reception (Cash Bar)
(LOCATION: THE WESTERN FRONT - 303 East 8th Avenue)
Sunday June 2nd
11.00-11.15am: Opening Remarks: Chris Dzierzawa
11.15-1.00pm: Dr. PAUL VERHAEGHE ON LACAN’S “THE FUNCTION AND FIELD OF SPEECH AND LANGUAGE IN PSYCHOANALYSIS”
1.30-1.45: Closing Remarks: Paul Kingsbury
4.00-6.00pm: FILM SCREENING: LARRY CLARK’S “MARFA GIRL”
Abstracts and Biographies
Jorge Santiago Zepeda. Analyst. Co-founder and active member of the psychoanalytical non-profit organization Grupo Metonimia in Chiapas, Mexico. He holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology, a MA in Psychoanalytical Theory, and a MA in Critical Theory. With over nine years of Lacanian training, in recent years he has also had an analytical private practice. Member of the Salon since September, 2010. Currently he is coordinator of the Psychological Clinic at Chiapas University of Sciences and Arts.
Beyond Full and Empty Speech
Despite vast discussions around full and empty speech as proposed in psychoanalysis by Jacques Lacan in the Rome Discourse, there has been a misunderstanding when it comes to the clinical practice in relation to that proposal of 1953; that is to say, the first clinical phase in Lacan. As oppose to that misinterpretation, little is known today in Freudian and Lacanian groups about an initiative launched in the Freudian Field for defining what our practice means today, and how it can be defined; furthermore, how do we pass the analytical experience over to the illustrated opinion and our colleagues around the world. The way an analyst understands psychoanalysis is the fashion he will develop the practice. As a consequence, considering psychoanalysis in one way or another bears a possibility of doing "whatever we comprehend". Having assumed so, it is favourable for the practice to assure that, if it is true that the Lacanian orientation lacks standards, it does not lack principles. As a result, there have been stated principles for any psychoanalytic act (World Association of Psychoanalysis, 2004), as a general guideline of what psychoanalysis means, and what a subject could expect from such a sui generis experience. This reflection is part of a growing interest in Grupo Metonimia for questioning the manner we embrace the theory and practice of psychoanalysis in 2013. This rather humble project hopes to increase awareness in our society about the difference between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, and also to establish our practice as a firm alternative for the suffering subject.
Hilda Fernandez is a Lacanian psychoanalyst and co-founder of the Lacan Salon. She currently works as a psychoanalyst in private practice and as a therapist for Vancouver Coastal Health, working with populations touched by suicide. She has an MA in Clinical Psychology (UNAM), an MA in Spanish Literature (UBC) and more than 15 years of Lacanian training. She was the president of the Western Canada Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy Association (WCPPA) from 2005-2007. She is originally from Mexico, passionate about the transmission of psychoanalysis, and committed to building community
CLINICAL STRUCTURES AND THE ETHICAL CHALLENGE TO THE ANALYST
The status of diagnosing in psychoanalysis is radically different from its use in psychotherapy or in the medical models. However, the way diagnostic categories are considered within the psychoanalytical field might at times get close to ideology or an attempt to normalize possibilities (Bruce Fink p101).
The way theory is regarded when exercising a practice is crucial for the ethics of such a practice. In regards of the psychoanalytical act, theory has to occupy an unsettling locus, a constant revisionism, as per allowing a necessary questioning and dialogue with the practice. In his “Foundational Act” (1964) Lacan invites to “test and critic the categoric terms and the structures… when sustaining a practice”.
In this talk we attempt to discuss the following:
1- The status of diagnosis in psychoanalysis and its pitfalls: ideology and normalization.
2- The three Lacanian clinical structures: Psychosis, Perversion, and Neurosis –the latter includes Hysteria, Obsession and Phobia-. Each structure is defined by its relationship to the phallus signifier,-the name of the father-. Each clinical structure has a particular dynamic arrangement with regards to the relationship of the subject to the object, the Other and himself, that results in a unique style of jouissance and possibilities of desire. We will touch on the mechanism of historization and production of meaning
3- Provide a number of reflections about the direction of the cure in each structure, pointing out at the particular challenges the analyst faces with each type of constellations, proposing that the exercise of a rigorous ethics is of utmost importance if the path to the cure wants to be paved.
Through the discussion of these elements, we will re-visit some of the most important Freudian cases: Dora, the young lesbian, Wolfman, Ratman and Schreber.
Theo Reeves-Evison holds an MA in Critical Theory and a BA in Fine Art. He is currently studying for a PhD in the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research focuses on the relationship between ethics and visual art using a predominantly Lacanian theoretical approach. He has published numerous exhibition and book reviews, and is currently editing a book entitled 'Cultures of Repair' that draws together psychoanalysis, aesthetics, and media philosophy.
From Transgression to Creation: Ethics and the Decline of the Symbolic Order
The ethics of psychoanalysis can be defined in many ways: as a ‘criminal’ ethics, an ethics of the real, of pure desire, or of love. With few exceptions, these definitions all take as their primary reference Lacan’s reading of Antigone, who transgresses the universalizing ethics of the Other. What many secondary texts fail to address however, is that psychoanalysis is fundamentally a praxis that responds to social change. One such change has been described as a decline in the symbolic order; the fixed anchoring points of language have become untethered and new symptoms have emerged. So what becomes of Lacanian ethics in the wake of this change?
It is the aim of this paper to show that in the latter period of Lacan’s work we arrive at a fragmentary new ethical theory, and in stark contrast to the ‘pure desire’ of Antigone, this is articulated in relationship to James Joyce and the ‘sinthomatic’ function of his artistic creations. I will argue that in the context of a decline in the symbolic, and the concomitant ‘prohibition on prohibition’ (Miller), an ethics of creation poses more critical force than an ethics of transgression. This new ethics brings with it its own problems. If the freedom to create today takes the form of an imperative under what Boltanski and Chiapello call the ‘new spirit of capitalism’, then an ethics of creation will have to be articulated in such a way that is oppositional to this imperative without falling into the trap of transgression.
Christine Evans holds a Ph.D. from The University of Kent, Canterbury, where her dissertation explored how Slavoj Žižek's work on love and universality has influenced film philosophy. Her research interests include Lacanian psychoanalysis and its application to cinema, film and philosophy, and - of course - love. She is currently working on a project that examines the various incarnations of Mildred Pierce.
Michael H. Hejazi is a student of psychological therapies, studying from within a transcultural psychiatry perspective through the Centre for Psychiatry at Queen Mary, University of London – yes; this is a paradoxical disciplinary configuration. Moreover, he is training clinically within a depth psychoanalytic psychotherapy modality. While any orientation stereotypes, he assures you of his subversive and plain endeavors: namely, his bio-semiotic anthropological research seeks to elucidate categorical imaginaries in that which postulates that it is 'therapy', the 'clinic', or whatever it might be. He thinks about brains and thinking, and the necessary linkages between the same. Doing what good thinkers ought to do by seeking the detectable in all processes of lived-structures, as in politically generative entanglements, he admittedly periodically plays a hypocrite. So when he should presume that something is anything, he would assure those who will rightly recognize these paradoxes and his errors in thinking, that he assumes all responsibility and apologizes unmistakably.
Determinate Self-Signification and the Neurobiology of Reality Processing
Recommended changes to DSM-V psychosis disorders refer to the severity of symptom dimensions (positive-negative, mood, motor, cognition, etc.), which vary over time (Tandon, 2012; Bradshaw, et al 1995). Such neurobiological disorganizations (Davidson et al 2010), or derangements (Reichenberg 2010), and cognitive degeneration, ‘found to be predictive of psychosis’ (Klosterkotter, et al 2001,) may be postulated as distinct psychological processes tied to subjective experiences. Thus, multi dimensional investigations into the phenomenology of psychosis psychopathology (Fleming, et al 2013) are necessary for it is ‘unclear… if the mechanisms by which exposure to trauma is related to quality of psychosocial and emotional functioning’ (Outcalt, et al 2012, p.33). My original clinical research (P.SQOL), to be fulfilled in August 2013, using the Lacanian concepts of ‘lack’ (Lacan 1977 p.17) and the ‘causation of the self’ (Verhaeghe 1988) seeks to characterize the reality of immaterial biosemiotic relations (Wheeler 2011). Following Jacques Lacan’s (1977) repudiation of an independent contained and determined organic form, depicting such as illusory (Ibid p.62.78), Verhaeghe (2002) argues that it is imperative to understand a subject’s chain of self-signification. P.SQOL employs a standardized measure of subjective quality of life indicators (Reininghaus, et al 2012) within didactic interviews (Seikkula 2003) that disrupt self-held stigmatizing beliefs and executive functioning (Outcalt 2012 p.39, Bateson 1979). This approach merges neurobiological theory (biologism vs. wholism), and symptom dimensions by an interpretive phenomenological analytical framework (Smith, et al 2009). This perspective will contribute to ‘LaConference 2013’ by operationalizing the ‘material, operational, and determined’ (Verhaeghe 2002) components of reality processing.
Emily Aoife Somers recently completed a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship and is now a lecturer in the English Department at the University of British Columbia. She has previously published articles on many aspects of Japanese culture, trans feminism, queer studies, and phenomenology and transgender subjectivities. Emily is a transsexual-identified academic.
Losstalgia and the Cisgender: Satô Kayo’s Visual Autobiography and Japanese Transphobia
In arguing for the validity of their gender identities, transsexual individuals invariably find that whatever forms of expression or assertion they offer become absorbed and criticized within the cisgender (non trans) claim to normativity. Such a perspective, known to trans theorists as a Null HypotheCis, holds that being cis is the default norm, whilst being trans is an aberrant departure from that norm. Following from that, many accusatory assessments are lobbed especially at Male-to-Female transsexuals, who have been diagnosed or disavowed as self-hating male homosexuals (Butler 1990); as reiterations of patriarchal symbols of embodied gender (Jeffreys, 1990); or—from one Lacanian perspective—suffering from psychosis (Millot – also in 1990).
That being cis is the privileged normativity of which trans is a more or less unfortunate derivation provides an uncomfortable threat to any act of trans expression. The gaze of cisnormativity, with its unmarked claims to the “field of speech” can feel intensely threated when trans identifications arises in the field of cisgender subjectivities and their claims to an ideal-I of sex embodiment (Lacan 1953).
As an alternative to this mode of conventionalized gender as controlling the symbolic order of transaction, I will be incorporating readings from Bracha Ettinger’s sense of the matrixial gaze (1995) and Luce Irigaray on sexual difference (1984) to consider how trans women resist being variously erased by symbolic systems of cis determination.
As a way to locate and demonstrate the practical implications of these ideas, I will examine Satô Kayo’s recently published pictorial autobiography: a transsexual woman who preemptively outed herself to avoid blackmail, Satô wrote a sequence of essays about her gender transition (2012). Most notably of these is kokoro no nengan [My Heart’s Desire], which features self-portraits of her in the girl’s uniform of her former school. Satô’s heartfelt discussion and performance becomes a retrogressive creation against the voyeur in that the voyure makes a presence of absence, “the place of art and the access to being” (Lacan, “Le sinthôme”, 1976).
Clint Burnham is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University. He is working on a book on Zizek and culture and is the author of a book on Fredric Jameson & a Lacanian reading of avant garde poetry. He is a founding member of the Lacan Salon. He can be followed on twitter @Prof_Clinty
Desire: Lacan for Artists
This talk will explore Jacques Lacan's theories of desire by talking about contemporary art. I begin with the argument that desire is located in the other. We desire the other, but we also want to be desired by the other. This paradox introduces the enigma of what the desire of the other is - or Che vuoi?, what do you want? - and, perhaps, the question of whether we share the same desires as the other. We must not cede our desire, but what is our desire. "Desire, Lacan tells us, is located in the other ..." and so on. To explore these ideas in the art world, I will talk about the photographs of Patrick Faigenbaum, and the installation art of Duane Linklater. In his recent exhibition at Vancouver's OR gallery, Linklater documented correspondence with the American artist Joanna Malinowska regarding her appearance in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s biennial last spring. For that show, Malinowska hung a painting by imprisoned American Indian activist Leonard Peltier; in the OR, we see that photograph, and a video monitor showing Malinowska in a performance. In email documentation, Linklater critiques Malinowska’s appropriation of Peltier’s painting, likening it to Joseph Beuys’s I Love America and America Loves Me, the 1974 performance with a coyote. Thus, Linklater suggests, Malinowska has tamed and institutionalized the Indian activist in an attempt to co-opt his (Peltier’s) critique of US hegemony. But, of course, Linklater has himself appropriated Malinowska (and perhaps Peltier, too, whose badly reproduced painting hung in Linklater’s exhibition). That is, the installation hinges on the question of desire (manifested via appropriation as technique; one might say that in contemporary art, desire is the theory, and appropriation is the practice), of sharing desire (Malinowska shares Peltier's desire), and what desire is legitimate (Linklater thinks he does not share Malinowska's but perhaps he does). Desire is also manifest in the photographs of French artist Patrick Faigenbaum's portraits of Italian aristocrats. Faigenbaum's - be they portraits or still lifes - embody an old master aura and thus raise the question of right wing melancholy. Which is to say, desire in terms of cultural capital (to bring Lacan into dialogue with Pierre Bourdieu). But the family portraits both stage or reaffirm an antedated ideology of the family (but one which lasted from the Dutch renaissance to the novels of Proust) and thus bring the viewer into contact with his or her own desire, and how that desire relates to that on display in the photographs.
Wayne Robinson is an independent filmmaker from Vancouver with a B.A. in Philosophy, honours from the University of British Columbia. Traveling, philosophizing, and falling in love are all contributors to the artistic foundation off of which Wayne constructs his films. Inspired by a radical hope for a more equal and wholesome future, Wayne aspires to keep filming stories and contribute his personal desire to film form.
From “Chè Vuoi?” to “Qui Jouit?”: The Indictment to (not) Enjoy In The Twenty-First Century
The topic of this paper will be to investigate what the Symbolic in the twenty-first century has indicted us to Enjoy, and by dint of this indictment, can’t but not allow us to Enjoy.
In his seventh seminar, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Jacques Lacan characterizes how the Law indebts others to obey it by promising happiness and the satisfaction of desire; ultimately though, the law of the signifier over-extends a given culture’s economy of goods and therefore beckons transgression: “I can only know the Thing by means of the Law. In effect, I would not have had the idea to covet it if the Law hadn’t said: “Thou shalt not covet it.”” (S7E, 83) Therefore, the moral Law itself wants exactly what it forbids: Jouissance qua transgression.
But, if jouissance can only be had despite the Law, what happens when the Law itself commands us to Enjoy and follow its own repressed self-transgression? As Lacan says in Kant with Sade: “Desire...would no doubt be willing to call itself “will to jouissance.” But this appellation would not make desire any more worthy of the will it invokes in the Other...for when it does so, desire departs beaten down, doomed to impotence.” (Écrits, 652) When the Law itself indicts us to Enjoy it consequently alienates us from the crumbs of enjoyment we would have had in our transgressive and phantasmagoric mischiefs, and renders our desire impotent.
Taking this new dialectic as my starting point I will investigate how major Hollywood blockbusters from the last year have indicted us to Enjoy, and by dint of this indictment, have foreclosed enjoyment: what does the Symbolic in the twenty-first century want us to not-Enjoy by commanding us to Enjoy?–which moreover amounts to: what does the Symbolic in the twenty-first century want us to not-transgress by baiting us with transgression? How does radical politics re-configure the Symbolic when it’s too enjoyable, not to?
Jessica De La Ossa is a PhD student in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona. Her dissertation research examines the relationship between Mexican-Americans and undocumented migrants in US-Mexico border cities given increasingly heightened security along the US-Mexico border.
Mohammed Rafi Arefin is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Geography Department. His research, coming out of his Master's thesis at the University of Arizona, engages the people, practices, discourses, and objects enrolled in the managing of waste in (post)revolution Cairo. To do so he utilizes psychoanalysis,urban geography and postcolonial theory, to analyze and interpret political cartoons, interviews, newspaper articles, social media, and government reports. His work is driven by two central questions: how did waste come to be an object of management? and why is it such a compelling object?
Sarah A. Moore is Assistant Professor of Geography at UW-Madison. Her research centers on the intersection of urban development and politics surrounding waste management and food justice. To understand these politics, she combines postcolonial, psychoanalytic, and political economic approaches. She is a co-author ofEnvironment and Society: A Critical Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, second edition forthcoming) with Paul Robbins and John Hintz.
Hoarding as Structure: Insights into the Modern Subject's Relation to (Wasted) Objects
Recent studies in geography have drawn on Lacan’s topological understanding of the psyche to enhance understandings of space and subjectivity This paper extends such understandings by examining the practice of hoarding as portrayed in the the American reality television show Hoarders. We examine hoarding, generally understood as an “abnormal” relation to objects, as a practice that threatens the symbolic order and calls forth an apparatus of experts to ‘fix’ the problem (Ahmed 2006). This fix, we argue, takes both therapeutic and spatial forms. By analyzing the show Hoarders, we investigate the ways in which “treatment’ hinges on a spatial imaginary that fixes subjects (the afflicted) and objects (their possessions) in discrete, bounded and separate places. Rather than accept such a cure and the topographical divide it creates, we examine the ways in which this spatial fix is employed to maintain a distinction between a healthy (and economically necessary) desire for consumption of commodities and a pathological attachment to wasted objects. Following Lacan’s diagnosis of obsessive compulsive behaviours as related to structures rather than symptoms, we reconsider notions of hoarding as a personal pathology, by examining the implications of both its practice and its cure for diagnosing the emotional condition of the modern subject. Intimately entwined with excess and waste, the hoarder exemplifies the force of emotion as a circulation between person and thing, but because this is only quantitatively and not qualitatively different than the ideal consuming subject, we argue that the practice offers insight into broader topological structures shaping relations between space, emotion and subjectivity.