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Moncayo, R. Lazcano, R. (2009). Magritte, the Work of Art, and Lacan's Three Dimensions of Experience: From Idealization to Sublimation, from Resemblance to Similitude, and from the Id to It. Psychoanal. Rev., 96(5):801-840.
    

(2009). Psychoanalytic Review, 96(5):801-840

Magritte, the Work of Art, and Lacan's Three Dimensions of Experience: From Idealization to Sublimation, from Resemblance to Similitude, and from the Id to It

Raul Moncayo, Ph.D. and Roberto Lazcano, Ph.D.

Any good work of art has a capacity to “draw” and evoke the experience of the reality of the Unconscious. In the presence of a painting, the ordinary experience of reality may be transformed into an experience of the mind writ large. The larger mind is not only inside but also outside and represents and realizes a structural connection between object and subject, the external and internal, the representational and emotional worlds. The work of art functions as a symbolic object that links the subjective experience of the artist with the subjective experience of the viewer. Because the subjectivity of the artist is included in the object of art, the latter also has an impact on the subjectivity of the viewer. In his paper “The Moses of Michelangelo,” Freud (1914) described his subjective experience of Michelangelo's sculpture.

Lacan made a distinction between objectivity and objectality. The object of psychoanalysis, as a scientific object, is an unconscious phantasy object and as such it necessarily involves subjectivity and the life of desire. Phantasy objects mediate our perception of reality. No matter how much objective science tries to demystify and nullify the influence of phantasies on our perceptions, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that ultimately science itself may be a construction of the human imagination widely defined. Nevertheless, the task of giving us the purest and most beautiful representation of our imaginative faculty falls on the visual arts and not on science.

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