Friday, September 25, 2009

Tricia Lawless Murray

curated by tricia lawless murray:
marc adelman, stephanie allespach, victor cobo, anne colvin, catherine daly, amber fox, phyllis green, jason hanasik, evah hart, micol hebron, elise irving, zsolt kadar, Ali Kheradyar,
tricia lawless murray, leigh mccarthy, christopher picon,
nancy popp, jessica rosen, amy Sampson, david sotelo, felis stella, casey stroud and museum of viral memory,

1. In psychoanalytic theory, the sum of all instincts for self-preservation.
2. sexual drive; libido.

Psychoanalysis. (usually lowercase) the death instinct, esp. as expressed in violent aggression.

I have decided to curate a photography show that has the theme of eros/thanatos... ideas that i find interesting and that influence my work. The works included interpret the theme and are proof prints that are no larger than 8x10 inches that will be taped to the wall. Ideally the works will go into a box that can circulate to other venues and be presented in a similar manner.

The following is excerpted from and provides an entry point into the theme beyond the definition of the terms eros/thanatos:

"It is not by chance, I suggest, that the hypothesis of a death drive (Todestrieb) was suggested to Freud around 1919 by the massive geopolitical trauma that hit Europe as the aftermath of the Great War. He postulated it to account for the symptoms of repetition compulsion he observed in patients suffering from war neuroses and described it as something beyond representation, something that pertains to the primary process alone and has no psychic representatives or, we might say, no translation. Coexisting with it in each organism, in continuous conflict, are the life drives that seek to preserve living substance and shape it into ever larger physical and social units, with all the costs and benefits attendant upon civilization. It has been argued that the late Freud’s hypothesis of a primal (self-)destructive drive reconfigures the dynamic landscape of the psyche and ascribes to the death drive the “radical tendency to unbind,” that is, the
disgregating, uncivilizing force that Freud had first associated with the sexual drive."

The quote comes from Teresa de Lauretis who delineates the relevance of Freud’s life and death drives in her recent book Freud’s Drives: Psychoanalysis, Literature and Film. She suggests that these drives offer a model of contemporary subjectivity that enables “survival” through the “gnawing, dull pain of betrayal,” one that turns against the critical theory that she has participated in constructing. As a self-professed feminist, I too have come to terms with the dogma that once bound me and find in Freud’s drives, a (permeable) model that contains within itself the mechanism for its preservation and its unraveling or undoing, a process that is linked to eros/thanatos, which for me is the quintessential representation of desire.

Tricia Lawless Murray