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Lecture & Installation ICI Berlin

Beyond Uncanny Anxiety

Uncanny Awe, Uncanny Compassion and Matrixial Borderlinking

Nov 2010

Encounter-Event with Bracha L. Ettinger

The Israeli-French artist, psychoanalyst and theoretician Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger develops in her theory of matrixial borderspace, bordertime and borderlinking an approach that allows us to rethink subjectivity and artistic production and offers a new concept of the feminine while articulating the specificities of a time-space for this feminine. Critically referring to classical and modern psychoanalytic writings (Freud, the British Group, Intersubjectivity, Lacan), she shows the extent to which the feminine in psychoanalysis has been conceptualized within the framework of “castration anxiety,” creating associations between the feminine and threats of regression, death or insanity. Parallel conceptions of the feminine appear in terms of loss or victimisation and resonate throughout Western Culture: “the list is long, from the myth of Orpheus until Duchamp’s ‘Bride’” (Ettinger). Yet, Ettinger's approach doesn't concentrate on criticising; rather, it is a poetic emergence of a new thinking-feeling of a field of transubjectivity.

In her lecture Bracha L. Ettinger will address the Freudian “unheimlich” to take it beyond its links to Angst (uncanny anxiety) into other affects that Ettinger also considers to be primary (in the same sense that anxiety is a primary affect). She will introduce new ways to think aesthetical effects and art criticality,  where the aesthetic proto-ethical matrixiality informs both Art and Ethics. Ettinger's lecture & installation continues a series of what the artist calls encounter-eventing.

Bracha L. Ettinger (IL/FR) is an international contemporary artist based in Paris and Tel Aviv and an intellectual associated with contemporary French psychoanalytical thought. Her most recent exhibition took place at the Tapies Foundation museum in Barcelona (Alma Matrix. Bracha L. Ettinger and Ria Verhaeghe curated by Catherine de Zegher). Her recent Solo exhibitions took place in the summer of 2009 at the Freud Museum, London and at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. Her next Solo exhibition will take place at the Musee des beaux-arts, Angers. Ettinger's paintings, photos, drawings, notes from conversations and notebooks have been exhibited extensively in major museums of contemporary art.

Ettinger is author of several books and many psychoanalytical essays (among them "Copoiesis") on what she has named in the mid 1980s: "matrix" and "matrixial trans-subjectivity". Her book "The Matrixial Borderspace" (essays from 1994-1999) appeared in 2006 at the University of Minnesota Press (with forward by Judith Butler and introduction by Griselda Pollock, edited by Brian Massumi who has written an afterward text). Ettinger is activist against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in the frame of Physicians for Human Right - Israel (PHR).


Location: ICI Berlin

Time: 12 November 2010, 19:00

The lecture & installation is organized by the Collaborative Research Center “Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits” (SFB 626) of the Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with the ICI Berlin and the group "Theoriepraxis".

Further information: leeb(at)

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