Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain

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Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain

Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain

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Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain is a collection of essays investigating the commonalities of an unlikely match: a psychoanalyst from Vienna, Austria, and a film director from Missoula, Montana, who would both go on to be great explorers of the human condition in their respective fields.

Jamie Ruers | LinkedIn Jamie Ruers | LinkedIn

As the cinema foyer filled with the aromas of damn fine coffee, the animated discussions whirled before spilling out on to the street, so that passers-by catching a few fragments of conversation about the mysteries of Lumberton, the sinister underbelly of Twin Peaks, or the depravity of Bobby Peru could be forgiven for surmising that it was a convention of detectives (or perverts). At the age of six I decided to be a painter. I graduated in Fine Art (Painting) in 1974 from Bristol Polytechnic, and then from Goldsmiths College in 1976 with a Post Graduate Art Teaching Degree. Having become bored with painting, horrified by teaching, but completely obsessed with the movies, I began programming independent cinemas in 1977, and was Co-Director of Cinema at the ICA in London from 1979 – 1984.Lynch, who once told an interviewer “I love dream logic,” would surely agree with Sigmund Freud’s famous claim that “before the problem of the creative artist, psychoanalysis must lay down its arms.” But what else might the two agree on? David Lynch is primarily known as a filmmaker whose singular cinematic/televisual creations have held audiences both spellbound and perplexed over several decades. Yet he initially trained as a fine artist and has continued to work as such throughout his life, using a wide variety of media to express his unique artistic vision across various fields. In this paper I will suggest that Lynch’s work, in whatever medium, is best understood as that of a visual (and sonic) artist. As such, the perceived lacunae or unintelligibility in it may be understood or “experienced” in other ways and, further, that psychoanalysis may help to bring to light various aspects of his work which have hitherto been less explored than others. Costume plays an important but under-recognised part in Lynch’s aesthetic. This talk will explore the distinctive contribution costume makes to Lynch’s oeuvre with a particular focus on Twin Peaks, showing how for Lynch, costume is more than just character and relates to his ongoing fascination with the curtain or veil. It will also playfully examine the influence Lynch’s work has had on fashion. How far down the Lost Highway can we get with psychoanalytic theory as our guide? In this talk I would like to take a look at some of the remarkable parallels between David Lynch’s masterpiece and Lacanian psychoanalysis. I hope to draw out some Lynchian lessons about the structure of desire and the function of the law, and to offer some psychoanalytic reflections on some of Lost Highway‘s many enigmas. This talk argues that the series Twin Peaks: The Return creates the expectation of Dale Cooper’s return as a fantasy figure capable of healing the wound of subjectivity itself only to show how he actually plays a crucial role in its perpetuation.

Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain by Jamie Ruers | Goodreads

This conference invites psychoanalysts, scholars and cinephiles to reflect on these Lynchian enigmas. What do we mean by ‘Lynchian’? Beyond the apparent incoherence of his films, are there hidden logics at play? Are Lynch and Freud in alignment? And what light can psychoanalysis shed on the Lynchian uncanny? Programme Saturday This conference invites psychoanalysts, scholars and cinephiles to reflect on these Lynchian enigmas. What do we mean by ‘Lynchian’? Beyond the apparent incoherence of his films, are there hidden logics at play? Are Lynch and Freud in alignment? And what light can psychoanalysis shed on the Lynchian uncanny? Lynch, who once told an interviewer “I love dream logic,” would surely agree with Sigmund Freud’s famous claim that “before the problem of the creative artist, psychoanalysis must lay down its arms.” But what else do the two agree on?this collection raises several important questions, pertinent both to psychoanalysis and an appreciation of Lynch. What are the implications of trying to interrupt trauma? To what extent is Lynch’s oeuvre an attempt to confront the malevolence of the Other? At what point do hysteric representations begin to hystericize the spectator? Can the free association of psychoanalysis be reconciled with the free association of transcendental meditation? By exploring these questions, the reader can begin to peer behind the Lynchian curtain and will, most likely, see quite a bit more than they might have expected to. The collection feels fresh and unquestionably offers more than just a rehashing of the popular psychoanalytic readings of Lynch.’ Costume plays an important but under-recognised part in Lynch’s aesthetic. This talk will explore the distinctive contribution costume makes to Lynch’s oeuvre with a particular focus on Twin Peaks, showing how for Lynch, costume is more than just character and relates to his ongoing fascination with the curtain or veil. It will also playfully examine the influence Lynch’s work has had on fashion. 6. Jaice Sara Titus The brilliant contributors include directors, cinephiles, philosophers, art and cultural historians, as well as psychoanalysts. The papers cover themes such as dream logic, language, fantasy, identity, art, architecture, hysteria, perversion, and what the term “Lynchian” means culturally and clinically. Each paper is so rich in their handling of the Freud/Lynch dichotomy that we’re delighted Phoenix published a legacy of this project. Jamie has given talks on Viennese modernism and the Surrealists at the Freud Museum London, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and is featured on documentaries such as Art & Mind. She has published articles and essays on psychoanalysis, philosophy, and art in The Art Newspaper, various Freud Museum publications, and artist monographs. This is her first edited book with hopefully many more to come.

Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain by Stefan Marianski Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain by Stefan Marianski

The weekend finished with a panel discussing and finding sense in The Return, which included Richard Martin, Todd McGowan, Allistair McTaggart and Tamara Dellutri who took questions from the audience. A transcript of this gripping panel discussion finishes the book. Mary Wild is the creator of the PROJECTIONS lecture series (psychoanalysis for film interpretation), which has been running regularly at Freud Museum London since 2012. Her interests include cinematic representations of identity, femininity, the unconscious, love and mental illness. Bursary places Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain takes as its point of departure that Lynch’s work is not so much unintelligible as ‘ uncanny,’ revealing what Todd McGowan has termed “the bizarre nature of normality” – and the everydayness of what we take to be strange.

Table of Contents

The hysterical subject is an essential figure in Lynchian cinema. With an art historical lens, this paper will explore how hysteria has returned time and time again throughout Lynch’s oeuvre by looking at a few important characters, from The Alphabet (1968), to Blue Velvet (1986), to Twin Peaks (1990-2017). 5. Catherine Spooner Lynch’s unwillingness – or inability – to openly discuss the meaning of his work has enticed and frustrated audiences and critical establishments alike since the emergence of ‘Eraserhead’ in 1977. Who or what exactly has Laura Palmer now become in ‘Twin Peaks’? Why won’t he tells us what’s really going on in ‘Lost Highway’? Why won’t he confirm or deny our own complex theories on the workings of ‘Mulholland Drive’? Why does he invite us into his own dreamscapes and then leave us to figure our own way out, with just a liberal scattering of clues to help? Does he even have the answers himself, or is he too just enjoying the mysteries contained in the dream? This session is about the gulf that exists between Lynch’s work and Lynch’s mouth – the sinkhole that can open up between intention and effect. This is about the man who brings new power to the phrase ‘tight-lipped’. 11. Stefan Marianski David Lynch is known for creating luxurious cinematic dreamscapes – infuriatingly beautiful mind puzzles in his signature surrealistic style. Three films in particular (Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire) form his unofficial ‘blurred identity trilogy’, featuring characters who embark on bizarre inward journeys in search of lost selves. The central premise of this talk is that in each instalment of the trilogy, a psychogenic fugue follows the unconscious trauma of unrequited love. Psychoanalytic theory will be shown to illuminate Lynch’s iconic dream-logic, which is disturbing and beguiling in equal measure. 9. Allister MacTaggart Here, they discuss the Freud Museum London conference which inspired their debut book, Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain , an edited collection which explores potential affinities and disjunctions between Lynch and Freud. I shall consider from a psychoanalytic perspective how Blue Velvet, dominated as it is by perverse relationships, presents us with ‘a strange world’ (a sentence repeatedly uttered by two of the film’s protagonists). I shall here focus in particular on the theme of voyeurism, which also implicates us as spectators, and on the symbolic significance of the cut-off ear, the film’s iconic and emblematic MacGuffin. 4. Jamie Ruers

Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain - Freud Museum London Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain - Freud Museum London

When you rent one of our On Demand events, you will be able to watch it right away and stream the video anytime during the specified rental period. How far down the Lost Highway can we get with psychoanalytic theory as our guide? In this talk I would like to take a look at some of the remarkable parallels between David Lynch’s masterpiece and Lacanian psychoanalysis. I hope to draw out some Lynchian lessons about the structure of desire and the function of the law, and to offer some psychoanalytic reflections on some of Lost Highway‘s many enigmas. 12. Richard MartinJaice Sara Titus is a PhD candidate at Brunel University London researching improvisational comedy and its relation to philosophy, critical theory and psychoanalysis. Her project particularly explores how the structure of desire and jouissance are embedded in the dimension of play, freedom and laughter. Jamie Ruers is an Art Historian and a Researcher at the Freud Museum London. She has written and given talks on art history and psychoanalysis on subjects including Viennese Modernism and the French Surrealists. Why not puncture bafflement with playful speculation? Mulholland Drive proves surprisingly amenable to the dream logic explored by Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams, so let’s see where it takes us. 3. Andrea Sabbadini The book was derived from a conference of the same name held in May 2018 for the Freud Museum London. It was an exciting event held at the Rio Cinema, an independent movie theatre in Dalston, East London. In the cinema’s main auditorium hangs grand red velvet curtains on the stage where the speakers presented their papers. The curtains were the perfect motif that connected our two subjects: David Lynch uses red – and blue – velvet curtains that line otherworldly settings in Blue Velvet (1986), Twin Peaks (1990–1991), and Mulholland Drive (2001). Similarly, Sigmund Freud also has red velvet curtains which adorn his famous psychoanalytic study in his home, now the Freud Museum. This motif functions as a separation between reality and fantasy spaces, or spaces to explore the unconscious, which begs the question: what lies ‘behind the curtain’?



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