Lacan most famously speaks of feminine jouissance as an ‘Other enjoyment’ that lies ‘beyond the phallus’ and the symbolic order of language as fundamentally phallic. Against mainstream readings, we will particularly focus on how the Otherness at stake should not be confused with any form of transcendence. Woman’s jouissance ‘beyond the phallus’ does not stand for The Other and thus for yet another figure of God as a unity of substance. Woman’s jouissance ‘beyond the phallus’ instead amounts to a supplementary enjoyment that still refers to the symbolic order as its not-all, that is, its incompleteness.
This will lead us to investigate woman’s phallic jouissance. For Lacan, woman phallically ‘possesses’ man just as much as man ‘possesses’ woman. However, Seminar XX defines woman’s phallic jouissance as ‘strange’ [étrange] in that it replaces the One of universal fusion that underlies masculine phallic jouissance with a singular ‘one by one’. Woman is always a non-universalisable woman. As such she hinders man’s attempted totalisation of jouissance. Phallically, for woman, man is a Don Juan that can never count all women.
Finally we will turn to what Lacan calls woman’s ‘being an angel’ [être ange]. This expression points to an asexualjouissance, which Lacan denounces as the structural illusion of the being-One of the body and associates with the basic fantasy of masculine totalization. In this light, the only way in which the angel can be obliquely materialised in linguistic reality is the far less edifying body of the hysteric. The latter strives for the ‘outside-sex’ and ‘plays the part of man’.
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£45 – £65
Wunderblock is an exhibition of new work by artist Emma Smith, drawing on original historical research into the post-war fascination with the infant mind. This research, undertaken by the Hidden Persuaders Project at Birkbeck, University of London, examines ‘brainwashing’ during the Cold War. Smith’s exhibition particularly focuses on this history in relation to the child.
Smith’s exhibition turns some of the complex history of debate about nature and nurture, and about benign and malign influences over the child, on its head. Smith asks ‘What is the agency of the child?’, ‘What is innate to the infant and in what ways are they an ‘expert’?’; and, crucially: ‘To what extent does the baby or child influence their environment, and shape the adult’s world?’. Inspired by the rich material surrounding infant observation in psychoanalysis by practitioners such as Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, Margaret Lowenfeld and Donald Winnicott, as well as the emergence of child-centred pedagogy and the anti-psychiatry movement, Wunderblock considers how we might engage with this history and meet the child from their own perspective.
Wunderblock will unfold across the Freud Museum through a number of interventions: using sound, interactive installation, and the Museum’s own collection, responding to the significance of this unique domestic setting. The title Wunderblock is taken from the title of Freud’s essay ‘The Magic Writing Pad’, where it refers to the layers of the self that are constantly re-written but may re-emerge from beneath the surface. In the exhibition, these layers are peeled back to reveal the child as a complex person rather than merely a malleable future citizen, a sponge for the influence of others.
Wunderblock is curated by Rachel Fleming-Mulford, and is commissioned by Birkbeck, University of London for the Hidden Persuaders Project, funded by the Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fund.
For International Women’s Day, we celebrate the value of arts for health with a focus on nurse writers and artists.
Olwen Morgan, singer and artist, will perform her work while children’s writer Michele Pengelly talks about the value of creativity in nursing for young people.
This is a free event – please book your place here.
Under the skin: life drawing workshop
RCP museum is partnering with London Drawing for the second year on a creative life drawing class inspired by the history of anatomical illustration to coincide with the exhibition: Under the skin: Illustrating the human body
Including a guided tour of the exhibition, draw from life with a live model and explore the fabric of the human body from the inside out with a series of guided drawing and creative techniques including chalk and charcoal, quick draw exercises, paper cutting and collage.
Observe in the exhibition how physicians, artists and printmakers have developed tools and techniques to illustrate human anatomy, creating Masterpieces of art and science and communicating what is hidden inside the human form. Then take to the easel yourself to experiment with some of these techniques!
About London Drawing
London Drawing is a collaboration between professional artists, tutors, Anne Noble-Partridge and David Price. Combining over 20 years of teaching experience and current professional practice, the artist duo have worked with major arts institutions, galleries including Tate Modern, the British Museum, the Barbican and the Design Museum. Their bespoke workshops are hands-on, creative sessions, designed to be challenging, fun and informative, using a combination of performers, sound, lighting, props, visual effects, drawing techniques and exciting materials to create a unique visual drawing experience. London Drawing aims to re-invent life drawing and drawing in an environment suitable for all levels of ability, designed to encourage confidence and inspire.
Tickets £25. Booking is essential and places are limited.
Suitable for all levels of ability over 16 years. Ticket price includes all materials for the class light refreshments (tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits).
Under the skin: Illustrating the human body is a pop-up exhibition open to the public 1 Feb – 15 March 2019. Free entry.
Visit the exhibition to explore the artistry and innovation of anatomical illustration from the medieval world to the present day.
The RCP is fully wheelchair accessible. Lifts and ramps are available in the building and medicinal garden. There is a glass lift in the main foyer, please ask reception staff for assistance. There is seating available on all floors of the building and in the garden. Our exhibitions are accompanied by large text captions which can be found on the 1st floor.
The Recruitment of British Nurse Superintendents to Philadelphia, 1870 – 1920.
During the late nineteenth century, hospital trustees in Philadelphia actively recruited British nurse superintendents to administer their newly established hospitals and nurse training schools, in an attempt to raise the status of their institutions. The British nurses who responded varied in both the experiences they encountered and the degree to which they achieved success. Through the presentation of biographies of some of the British nurses recruited to Philadelphia, Karen Egenes describes the nurses’ motivations, challenges faced, tactics employed, and legacy.
The talk will be followed by a drinks reception from 8-9pm.
Doors open at 6pm, and the event starts at 6.30. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception from 8-9pm.
In 1936 Marie Stopes argued that ‘the “crises” of a woman’s life had been much debated by male medical writers, and perhaps the most artificially created crisis had been her “change”: the menopause.
Join us for a taboo-shattering look at the effects of the menopause on women past and present. Louise Foxcroft uses medical and social history to redress the myths and delivers some truths. Debby Holloway explores the role nursing plays in the menopause today, while Kathy Abernethy looks at whether support should be offered to women in the workplace.