Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics. www.freud.org.uk

February 26, 2019  

Salvador Dalí’s proposition for Symbolically Functioning Objects (1931) made an important contribution to the establishment of objects as a major priority for surrealism. In line with the surrealist group’s research strategies, this novel category of objects is presented in the framework of a game, one in which the construction of assemblages by participants is answered by a second phase of interpretation in terms of unconscious motivations. The challenges of such interpretation, however, were by no means unfamiliar to surrealists. Just a few years earlier, issue 9-10 of the group’s journal La Révolution surréaliste (1927) had published an exclusive extract of Freud’s The Question of Lay Analysis, while at least one psychoanalyst – Jean Frois-Wittmann – was close to the group at the turn of the decade, supporting the sense that Dalí’s appropriation of psychoanalytic method is carried out in a highly informed context, even if to very different ends: symbolism, eroticism, mobility are all harnessed in such a way as to reveal an extravagant complicity between subjects, objects and the motivations crossing between them. A conversation between analysis, play and the object is at stake here, one in which none of these parameters emerge unchanged.

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