Covers (detail), installation view, Bus Projects, 2015

Theft: Prints and Drawings

Tamsin Green

13 April to 13 May 2016
Opening Thu 14 April,
6.30pm to 8pm

Alliance Française Eildon Gallery
51 Grey Street ST KILDA

In conversation: Dr Jan Bryant with Tamsin Green
Thursday 12 May 2016, 6.30pm
Alliance Française Eildon Gallery
Admission free
(For full details and booking click here)

Covers (detail), installation view, Bus Projects, 2015

The exhibition Theft: Prints and Drawings is intended to act as a substitute for an absent text. In 1931 a woman approached the star of the play, Everything will be fine, (Tout va bien) in the Theatre Saint-George in Paris. The woman took out a knife and attempted to stab the actress, whom she believed was impersonating and persecuting her. The attempted murder failed. After this incident, the woman became know as “Aimée” in the case notes of psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan. Aimée was the central figure in Lacan’s 1932 dissertation, On Paranoiac Psychosis in its Relations to the Personality. Lacan appropriated her life for his theoretical ends, but never identified her by her real name. He used the woman’s novels, family photos, and her discourse as evidence to support his theoretical works. Despite Aimée’s requests, Lacan never returned her novels; they have since disappeared into the archives and may never be found. These novels are an absence within the narrative of psychoanalytic theory.

Aimée’s real name only emerged through a series of strange coincidences and doublings. Her estranged son became a pupil of Jacques Lacan at around the same time that she became a cook for Lacan’s widowed father. Amiée was the name that Marguerite Pantaine chose for the heroine of her novels, before Lacan gave it back to her as a pseudonym. But she herself was only the second Marguerite Pantaine, born to replace an older sister who had burned. Because Marguerite’s words are missing I have been looking for her in other texts, in other stories of madness and confinement. The event of the missing or fragmented text opens up an opportunity for critical fictionalization within my practice, which I describe as a process of disinterment. As with previous projects I am drawing on fragments of historical events from the biography of Jacques Lacan. Rather than seek to accurately re-construct these events I proceed allegorically by reading one text through another: balancing a desire for recovery against the recognition that there is not necessarily an object to be recovered, or that if there were, it may not prove satisfactory. This exhibition brings a speculative account of the history of French psychoanalysis to the specific location of the Alliance Française in Melbourne.

About the artist

Tamsin Green is an artist and educator based in Melbourne, Australia. She is currently a lecturer in the Art History and Theory program at Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA). Her practice, research and teaching are informed by the histories of photography and performance practice, with interests in psychoanalysis and aesthetic theory. She has taught across the theory program and into the studio in both the undergraduate and higher degree programs. Tamsin’s art practice incorporates a range of media, including installation, painting, photography and film. Her recent solo exhibitions include Relax at Techno Park Studios, Covers at Bus Projects, and Designs at The Other Side. Tamsin’s work has been supported by grants from the Australia Council for the Arts and The City of Melbourne. Tamsin has participated in residencies including an international residency with The Icelandic Association of Visual Artists (SIM) in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Relax: There’s plenty of time to return to the discursive origins of psychoanalysis,  Poster, 594mm X 841mm, distributed around Melbourne, 2014

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