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Lacan, the Devil

Life of Lacan

Lacan, Music

How Lacan

Lacan's Smile


The Reverse
of a Postscript

Lacan the Poem

Lacan on the Spot

Lacan, Red Lights

The Split Collector

Lisa Yuskavage


To Resume Again...

Josefina Ayerza


I first glanced at Jacques Lacan's name while lingering through a well-known coffee-shop in Buenos Aires. If my experience was to involve the person holding the book, the actual epithet in red letters over the title "Les quatre concepts fondamentaux," the person in question was Oscar Massotta.

Handsome Massotta, very much in love with the ideas in his special book and the quality of his own expression—soon there was a number of us, not only concurring to the bar, but also sitting at the markup table. We listened… The dialogue was to set us apart from others that didn't know what we were talking about, that wanted to know what we were talking about, however the book wasn't findable for everyone, and if so it wasn't translated…

It was Buenos Aires in the 70's. The DiTella Institute glowing in splendor, everyone was an artist, and our lives were art. Again, all activities happening in the area, we kept walking into each other… The certain day that I walked into Massotta he said I should call his girlfriend… I did. He answered the phone.

—Can I talk to Renée?
—Renée just left, yet before stepping out she broke a bottle of beer on my head—

Not the "flower power" anymore, the contemporary scenarios were more about violence, and dramatic states of mind. The 80's would come to confirm the art of it through artists like Martin Kippenberger, Georg Doukoupil, their perverse sexual abysses purposely aiming at shock, provocation, and confrontation.

Over and above its mathematical implications Lacan took the eventuality far enough. "The letter kills."
By virtue of this count, in that it blends in the zero number, 0=1, his actual add up holds to be infinite value. Now it prompts the subject—the actual primary signifier, which is ab-sense. And the particular ab-sense appoints sex. The signifier in the unconscious is not open to all meanings, and this is how it will abolish them, while it grounds new meaning together with progressive non-meaning of the subject. The function is freedom.

Freedom to kill?

Freedom to kill the particular meaning attached to a word that petrifies you. The actual meaning, relative to the desire of the Other, you are put into words as if you were dead. In the place of the zero a zero to be, you lack an alive part of your being. There is jouissance to regain.

The work of analysis may isolate the subject's identifications. You go into in the fantasy. You traverse the fantasy—a fantasm­ in terms of your jouissance…

And what of that which art brings about when it comes to see the word as a work-of-art?

With Lacan the work-of-art is beyond the symbolic. That is beyond the word—beyond words. And he went further to say that art was verbal at a second power.

Would it mean that visual art makes use of the structure of language without in most cases making use of language itself? In fact, visual art makes use of the structure of language where it allows for the articulation of truth, without having to deal with the transmission of knowledge.

Like Woman, the analyst, the artist do not exist. The same discourse, however one on the side of knowledge, the other on the side of truth, it is not an exhaustive vel. You encounter knowledge in the defiles of art, throughout psychoanalysis you run into truth. Negative quantity is the term that designates one of the supports on your way to freedom.

Massotta wrote a book on Roberto Arlt—he dedicated it to Renée Cuellar. And he wrote a book about pop and Semantics. He went to Spain where he stayed until he died of a throat problem caused by smoking too much, at 49.

I started my Psychoanalysis studies with Germán García, at his Biblioteca in Buenos Aires. I was travelling back and forth, to and from New York City, where I was undergoing analysis in the English language while studying at Barnard College. In 89 we had the last New York US Workshop in NYC. Just in time to talk to Jacques-Alain Miller and propose Lacanian Ink—the journal. Smiling gently to my delight he said "lacanian ink, this is what I call lalangue." Oblique, though related to an answer, the signifier itself, its underlying linguistic message, prompted to collect sense, "Ink... Inc... What, who is being incorporated in lalangue?"

Lacan in the English is a dream of mine, maybe a fantasm, the one you want to traverse. The jouissance of it is bringing in Jacques-Alain Miller's exquisite text "La Vie de Lacan," together with Lacan's daughter's and her cousin's text… plus Miller's friends, as he refers to them, each one no less a personage than the other.



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