IPA Podcast Talks On Psychoanalysis

Talks On Psychoanalysis shares topics published in the IPA Society Journals and Congress debates worldwide, brought to you through the voices of the original authors. This podcast is produced by the International Psychoanalytical Association. 

Podcast Team Coordinator

Gaetano Pellegrini


French: Johanna Velt & Julia-Flore Alibert 
German: Monica D’Alançon &  Alice Färber
Spanish: Ana María Martín Solar
Portuguese: Isabel Silveira
Japanese: Soh Agatsuma, Atsumi Minamisawa & Kouhei Harada

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For questions and proposals please send an email to: [email protected]

Latest Episode 60
Patricia O‘Donnell: “Of Flies and Spiders - Gradiva and Louise Bourgeois”

In this episode we come back to deal with Psychoanalysis and Art, through the work of Louise Bourgeois and a small novel very dear to psychoanalysis: "The Gradiva (a Pompeian fantasy)”, written by W. Jensen in 1903. Patricia O'Donnell presents her paper titled: “Of flies and spiders - Gradiva and Louise Bourgeois" and reports that a particular comment inside the book plus the added role of flies with their multiple meanings in the novel were the triggers for thinking about the French artist. "Maman", for instance, the gigantic sculpture of a spider in steel and marble, is the paradigm of a theme repeatedly evoked in the writings and works of the artist, who gave these attractive and fearsome creatures a variety of interpretations. This presentation, which explores and interweaves some biographical information, such as her mourning, the discovery of the difference between the sexes, her writings, her sculpture "Arch of Hysteria”, is an attempt to give us a glimpse into an artistic universe, which expands like a spider's web. The research into how she constructed the phantasmagoria around the spider constituted a psychoanalytical aesthetic experience with a body of work that invokes a past that travels through time in the face of an unknown future. Perhaps the spider as an apotropaic and talismanic figure is a defence against the fantasies of death and vulnerability that are so poignant in today's world.

Link to the paper. This episode is available also in Spanish

21 October 2021

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