Transfiguring Pain Poetically: Exploring the Liberating Potential of Artistic Creation – University of Copenhagen

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Transfiguring Pain Poetically: Exploring the Liberating Potential of Artistic Creation

Carl Fredrik Hill, ”Uden titel,” 1883-1911. Malmö Kunstmuseum

Working across the disciplines of art theory, philosophical aesthetics, literary analysis, existential-hermeneutical psychopathology, psychoanalysis, theology and philosophy of religion, the overall ambition of this research seminar and PhD course consists in developing and exploring an “ethico-aesthetic paradigm” (Guattari), which emphasizes the inextricability of ethics and aesthetics in approaching artistic creations by individuals experiencing psychopathological disturbances without reducing their idiomatic singularity.

Focusing chiefly on visual artspoetic language, and their occasional overlapping, the development of such an ethico-aesthetic paradigm serves three coordinated aims to be pursued through analyses of various art works, first-person perspective texts, and anonymized clinical vignettes.

First, the project aims at enabling a better understanding of artistic creation as an ethos, conceived not as a code of conduct or a set of moral beliefs, but as a resourceful way ofexisting and of (re)making sense of this existence. Second, the project explores if and how the creative act may be conceived as a gesture of freedom enabling a reinvigoration of a process of life, which may have become fixated or paralyzed by its subjection to disturbing, painful, or traumatic experiences, and thus reopening a mode of the possiblewithin a reality that may appear devoid of all possibilities. Third, the project inquires into artistic creation as an affirmative resistance, which, on the one hand, counter-acts andresponds to actualizations that may appear incomprehensible and unsayable to more ‘conventional’ discourses such as the clinical, the conceptual, or the critical while, on the other hand, affirming a process of auto-hetero-poiesis, understood as a reinvention of oneself in the incessant exposure to becoming other.

Research seminar and PhD course funded by the PhD School of the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen, and the Centre for Pastoral Education and Research, Church of Denmark

Everyone is welcome!

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Participation is free, but online registration required by January 8, 2018