Miguel Abreu







on objet a

Three Events

Miguel Abreu Gallery- New York City, November 16/2007

[an excerpt from Josefina Ayerza's introduction]

In Book X, the Seminar on Anxiety, Lacan tells of a patient not very well taken care of by her husband; in any case, he says she's been treated poorly enough for her to bring the matter up. "It matters little that he desires me, provided he does not desire the others". In other words, as Lacan emphasizes, she maintains her husband's desire regardless of whether he expresses it or not. It is enough for her if it remains idealized: "it is love." The desire of the Other then, is what interests her, and not only her husband's desire. It is in this way that she describes her touchy symptom to Lacan: she feels a vaginal swelling with the passing by of any unspecified object, a mobile one - a car for example - emerging in the field of vision. And, she emphasizes, it must be well understood that it bears no relation whatsoever, and that each one of her initiatives are consecrated, according to her purpose, to Lacan. Any object forces her to evoke Lacan as witness, and more precisely to evoke his gaze. Which will be Lacan's gaze on her and this object? This is what helps her, she says, so that each thing acquires sense.

Lacan specifies it is all about love transference, supported by the gaze object. She then refers to a great love of her youth, a fictional love nurtured by correspondence, where she creates, letter after letter, the fictitious character, the ideal object, the desired object that she would want to be in the eyes of an absent partner. It is exactly the opposite, she believes, of what she does with Lacan, dedicating to him the minimum gesture, the minimum act, offering them to Lacan's gaze, under the aegis of always being true to him. Further on, Lacan explains that what she wants is for his gaze to be substituted for the patient's, and for him to contribute, "for the aid of himself" to the point where she feels she is "remotely controlled", to put it another way, that she be her analyst's object.

She tries to capture Lacan's desire - it is he whom she wants to tempt. And the object, with which she, the little fish, would want to make Lacan the rod-fisherman swallow the bait, is the gaze to which she offers herself as object, in her relationship to any object. Therefore, she tries to become the object, the lost objet a that lacks in the Other, because for herself she lacks nothing.

Then, as Lacan indicates, "she gets tempted by tempting the Other".


Jack Tilton Gallery - New York City, November 18/2007

[an excerpt from Josefina Ayerza's introduction]

"The objet a is not unseizable," says Jacques-Alain Miller in his article on Jacques Lacan's Seminar From an Other to the other, "objet a is captured especially in the fantasm - and it is denuded in perversion - there where surplus-jouir is unveiled in a naked form."

As far as structure is concerned the place to find this petit objet is certainly the fantasm, especially to the extent that the subject is not represented in it. Not a visualization of the sort that comes together awareness, the fantom image emerges when you are not expecting it and it vanishes after having produced its effect. The paradigmatic fantasm in Freud is of course "A Child is Being Beaten" when he foresees the situation where day dreams are used by the child to avoid the oedipal conflict by imagining himself to be adopted, to be really the child of a king and queen.

With Lacan the matter is always a question with the Other sex - since there isn't reciprocity, because the Other sex as such, for both, is the feminine sex. With him the hysterical loans her body to another woman. If the classical masculine fantasm is to fantasize with another woman while making love, also women fantasize with other men but they can go as far as to have this other man make love to another woman. That is to say that she offers her body as the body of somebody else. And this is a very hidden thing - her man, her husband doesn't know that each night he makes love to another woman.

Now this object as stand-in is the same as appears in the work of art. It is nevertheless worthwhile not to confuse art with fantasm, or to say that what the artist does is to picture some fantasm or other. The reason is that the work of art addresses itself to the eye, to the eye's hunger... and this the phantasm simply does not do.

More of a self-representation, the fantasm is something like a mirror image or the way you see yourself when you have an image of yourself in your mind. In Lacan a representation competes with the world of appearances and this is what art does not do.

Everyone knows that Plato had little sympathy for art and not simply because poets had tended to represent the gods performing actions which were not worthy of imitation. As Lacan stated, Plato objected to painting, not because painters gave an illusory equivalent of objects, but rather because they were competing with the world of ideas, of forms.


Jack Tilton Gallery - NYC, November 28/2007

[an excerpt from Josefina Ayerza's introduction]

As for the sado-masoquistic pantomime Laurence Bataille, Lacan's stepdaughter and Judith Miller's half-sister, Lacan writes a story which early enough, got published in Ornicar? 8:

Scott is saying that when he abandons himself to what he calls his recurrent day-dream he sees himself bowing in front of this woman who happens to hold a whip in her left hand - the whip's long lashes whistling in the air. He doesn't resist, he doesn't know where the striking goes, he doesn't feel the pain. At this point - there's a certain number of strokes left - he will round up his back, like a cat. The woman beating him, not herself anymore, is another woman placed beside her, this other one doesn't have a face. Now, he's sexually aroused; this faceless woman is also aroused... The spaces between strokes seem like eternity.

Should we say a waste of jouissance occurs, the pursuit of jouissance functions as the "lost object" and suggests the idea of masochism, because of the "impossibility" of regaining this object.

The formula of the fantasme displays the subject relating to the object of jouissance - objet a. This subject is the subject of the signifier. Divided by jouissance, it finds the object fusing, melting with it on a surface divisible through a cut, the fantasme. The action of the signifying cut, as much as objet a, is representing the subject: Scott is at once the beaten man, the one beating the man, and the jouissance of the one doing this - at the same time the subject identifies with the signifier, with the act of whipping itself. The function of the objet a in the fantasme takes place in the real. The subject unconsciously perceiving the object becomes it. This sort of jouissance belongs to being; as soon as the jouissance is experienced the subject fades away, reduced to a signifier. The fantasme will not ameliorate the emptiness of the S, moreover it will re-introduce the interval between S - S2. This is the interval between the signifying-knocks where Scott finds the desire of the Other. In this interval separating the signifiers, is metonymy: through them, running, escaping, is what we call desire. The desire of the Other is apprehended by the subject in the lacks of the Other's discourse: objet a, between S - S2. In alienation, the original repression of S1 makes for a barred subject-separation instead makes objet a appear.