It is the second in a series conceived by Rachel O'Reilly in response to If I Can't Dance's research field of 'Appropriation and Dedication', and is leading up to the 'Performance Days' (27 Nov - 3 Dec), a performance programme featuring all If I Can't Dance's commissioned projects and research projects developed the past two years. To this end, Rachel has composed an interlinked trajectory of readings that explore the rise of interest in poetry in contemporary art as part of a larger re-investment in performance, liveness and collectivity projects that take specific interest in ‘readerly’ practices and ‘figural’ experiments. (see attached outline for more details).
Last month, we read texts by David Rodowick and Hito Steyerl
. We discussed Rodowick's idea of the 'figural' and considered how artists engage in (bodily) mediations of texts.
This month, we approach appropriation through two psychoanalytical texts that discuss the messiness of subject-object relationships. The first text is by Melanie Klein (1982-1950), a proponent of object relations theory (or how subjectivity develops through early interpersonal relationships), and popularly known for thinking through Freud from a female perspective and for her psychoanalytic research with children. The text we are reading helps us think about the the role of aggression and defense in the constructiveness of psychical reality, desire and object love - the complex vacillations of positions that forge our most intimate attachments. The second text is by D.W. Winnicot (1896-1971), a psychoanalyst also well-known for his contributions to object relations theory and his work on the transitional object.