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Making Sense Of Crisis - Art As Schizoanalysis: A Symposium And Exhibition

About this programme

Schizoanalysis, as a concept, found currency with the Postermodernist turn, through the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Posed as a challenge to the violence of psychoanalysis and the Oedipal understanding of the world, schizoanalysis proposed to move away from the clinical underpinnings of psychoanalysis and psychiatry, breaking out of the hierarchies between the doctor and the patient, to a more equitable and positive exploration of human subjectivities. While chronologically schizoanalysis earmarks a certain moment in the intellectual history of Western Europe, the concept has found various resonances in disparate strands of thought such as philosophy, medicine, social sciences and the arts. The political premise of schizoanalysis speaks of the resistance to fascism, the unpacking of capitalist imperialism of the West, and the empowerment of alternate sexualities. These have become cornerstones of artistic thought all over the world, especially within postcolonial nations grappling with the intersectionalities of race, communal distinctions, gender, and various other postcolonial identities, giving schizoanalysis a life beyond its time.

Khoj has always been keen to explore new media and forms of creativity, and is now looking to host a Symposium on Art and Schizoanalysis in January 2014, an idea not explored in India yet. Interdisciplinary crossovers between art, history, psychoanalysis and schizoanalysis have a rich and productive history. Many analysts have incorporated the study of visual art into their work, and art historians and theorists frequently incorporate concepts, methods and frameworks from schizoanalysis into theirs. However, schizoanalysis as a methodology has not been given exclusive attention, because of the density of the subject. Drawing from the very fruitful session on Art and Psychoanalysis that was held in 2011, Khoj is keen to explore the various strands in the clinical and biomedical sciences that overlap with discourses about art and aesthetics. Thus schizoanalysis becomes an important watershed, being a movement within philosophy, politics, clinical scientific practices and critical theory. It is our prerogative to unpack and explore the political possibilities within schizoanalytical thinking, which find great resonances in contemporary works of art.

The two day symposium, to be held on 9th and 10th January at Sidhhartha Hall, Maz Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi,  will attempt to bring together art practitioners, filmmakers, psychoanalysts, doctors and academics to discuss, among other things, the role of art in mitigating social trauma and acting as an agent of therapy. The ensuing exhibition will showcase some key works that are centred on themes of trauma, memory and therapy.

The public can expect to learn a great deal about contemporary schizoanalysis and psychology as well as its Indian history, about the application of schizoanalytic concepts and processes in artistic practices. The symposium is especially interested in exploring the notion of art-as-analyst, art as cultural symptom, and in the idea of a bioscientifically informed artistic practice. It is equally interested in fostering critical debate concerning the relationship between schizoanalysis and the arts.

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