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The Experience
of the Real in Psychoanalysis

Highly Speculative
Reasoning on the
Concept of Democracy

Technology, Capital
Nihilism and Love:

The Giver Giveth,
and the Giver
Taketh Away

Welcome to the
Desert of the

Two Mexican Poems

Sam Taylor-Wood

Heidi II


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Josefina Ayerza

The woman on the cover of lacanian ink 16 does not exist.

Again, the image of the actual woman does not exist since it is void to the point of there being no referent outside of her. One arm, suddenly too thin, too long, is not thin nor long at all. How so? Because the spurious arm is reproducing nothing; neither is the towel that hangs on the door, nor the angles in the room. And how is it that this certain image comes to appear on photographic paper? No camera mediating the construal of her, actually it isn't a photograph, the image is… shall we say virtual?

The made up computer version of the woman on the cover of lacanian ink is in any case lush in its evincing of the political subject. Now arising in an Other with no precedent against its aspiration, the theory doesn't exist. Neither does the concept, as democracy is the first assumption to be put into question. What exists is the discussion. Let it make for the discourse: the political as a whole is not a consistent notion, not anymore; yes indeed the very thoughts as perceived in their particular and diverse expression.

With Lacan void is an axiom.

In "The Experience of the Real in Psychoanalysis," Jacques-Alain Miller writes, "Lacan introduces the subject essentially as a lack-in-being - as the opposite, the negative of a being. Thus it's symbol: .

Furthermore Lacan reworks the void under a logical frame, as an empty set. So Miller adds, "The setting in motion of such a negative entity - a nothing, yet a nothing that is precisely not nothing, that is a kind of call to being - introduces in fact a decisive break at the level of immanence, while determining the birth of the Lacanian subject and the destruction of the Hartmannian ego in psychoanalysis."

Renée Cox's work illustrates the aforementioned article. "These are political images," said the artist. Miller's thoughts on the subject and jouissance as thought together came to mind, as the body affected by the signifier, moved, aroused by the unconscious got enacted by the lady in her Hot-Ten-Tot suit.

Alain Badiou's "Highly Speculative Reasoning on the Concept of Democracy," goes right away into the determinant power of the signifier itself. Would you dare not be a democrat, have you even thought of the possibility? Gone are the days that drove your romantic thoughts astray, as you were feeding them with Leon Trotsky to say the least, with Nikolai Bukharin, with Pablo Neruda. Today it is "…authoritarian opinion. Accordingly, it furthers that the human kind longs for democracy, and all subjectivity suspected of not being democratic is deemed pathological."

So Badiou calls on philosophy, as it's meant to check over everything that is automatically thought-out as "normal." The fact that the word functions within the frame of an authoritarian opinion makes democracy distrustful enough. But there are the positive elements to recover. "Democracy, in a way, names the political figures of the conjunction between particular situations and politics. In this case, and in this case only, 'democracy' can be recaptured as a philosophical category. Hereafter democracy will designate what can be termed as the effectiveness in politics. Meaning politics when it conjoins with particular interests. Thus understood politics becomes free from its accountability to the State."

David Ebony's article explores Badiou's recently translated Manifesto for Philosophy and recent works by the Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco. It discusses a preoccupation with the concept of multiplicity, which both writer and artist share. Badiou and Orozco are also united in an effort to free their respective disciplines from a state of paralysis caused by the oppressive relationships that philosophy and art have with their own histories.

Orozco's exhibition last fall at the Philadelphia Museum of Art played with notions of the archives and art-historical continuity by juxtaposing large, black-and-white photo cut outs of some of his own best-known works with those of pre-Colombian art and artifacts from the museum's collection. Badiou writes in Manifesto for Philosophy that most contemporary philosophers concur that the history of philosophy "has entered the perhaps interminable epoch of its closure." As part of his aim to counter this pessimistic relationship of philosophy to its own past, Badiou submits an entirely recast doctrine of Truth.

Caroline Weber's "The Giver Giveth, and The Giver Taketh Away" has the quality of performing writing, of comedy. You laugh at Weber's description of the Giver's excited anticipation "as his presents are delivered to his nearest and dearest," at the eventuality that the Giver's lofty intentions always end in disaster for The Giver himself. "A stray golf ball smacks him in the crotch while he watches his clients, from a distance, on the fairway. His arm catches fire as he prepares to bring 'cherries flambées, extra liqueur' to his colleague's table."

Slavoj Zizek starts up with the denouncing of a liaison which took place this past November bringing together two extreme figures namely Fulani, the far-left espouser of Marxist-Leninist politics, and Buchanan, a Reaganite cold warrior and the leading right-wing populist figure. According to Zizek, extremes like Right and Left totalitarianism, "meet in their rejection of democracy… in their common inability to adapt to the new trends of the global economy. Furthermore, do they not share the anti-Semitic agenda? So you have on the one side the anti-Semitic bias of the radical African-Americans, and on the other Buchanan's provocative designation of the US Congress as an 'Israeli occupied territory'." Zizek will conclude that the uncanny political marriage of Fulani and Buchanan is a symptom of the Third Way Left.

Indirectly though, Raphael Rubinstein's poems can be certainly read from a political stance.

As for the art, the case is Lacanian critique.

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