2010 Statement





Le Sinthome & Sublimation





I would like to talk to you for a moment. Will you walk with me?


If 2009 was the year of loss then 2010 has become the year of sublimation and the fixing or coming to terms with those missing things. How? Through the application of Lacan’s psychoanalytical principle, Le Sinthome.


It has become theory put to work.


Tell me what frightens you? Did you hide behind the sofa as a child watching Dr Who? Dread the dentist? What makes you tap into the Das Ding of your subconscious and what do you do in order to cope with it? What do you do when a terrifying even happens in your life? After the dust has settled do you say, “This was meant to happen”; “When one door closes another door opens”, “There was higher purpose here”. I have realized that you’re not the only one who does this; I do it too, and so do many. It is the chemical transition of a solid into a gas. One psychological state into a new one. Sublimation. Taking this one step further it becomes Lacan’s, Le Sinthome.


We can turn libido into achievement. We can turn fear into purpose. The mouth which is nether in nor out exists as both, like glass it exists as two states, and so can we in every aspect. The surgery which was terror became coping, then a story, then art, then into glass, then trophy and adornment.  It can now be mentally held as “This was meant to happen for a purpose!” We can exist inside these states and outside of them; we can observe them or use them.


Luke Thurston in his book, explains it in analogy. “It is poetic. For example after a certain number of readings of a poem you do not necessarily grasp the poem’s ultimate meaning; rather, it is as if the poem has read you: it remains opaque and produces whole chains of signifiers within you... we can see the sinthome as a thing that makes meaning possible.”


My dissertation embodies the journey of my work and its application; it is all in there to read if you wish. The work that you see before you, the community placement which I undertook with a group of severely disabled and terminally ill patients for 8 months, the public exhibition of their work, the manifestation of academic theory in reality and its conclusions, form the core of my discourse this year.


In September 2010 I shall be commencing on my MA in Art Therapy to train in professional practice.  I am still looking to find the solution to my question of whether art can help manage the Lacanian gap and whether the conclusion to my dissertation is correct, that this can be done through the use of Le Sinthome in art. Is it possible?




Presentation which became a 15 minuet experimental performance in which I attempted to talk the group into a heightened state of anxiety.


The event ended with my screaming.


I hoped to facilitate them into understanding the source of fear as the Lacanian Das Ding, and how, despite its inaccessibility, it permeates all aspects of their lives. That we can use it rather than just philosophize and be subjected to it