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Cooney, A.S. (2012). A Psychoanalytic Encounter with Nathalie Djurberg's It's the Mother: On Sadism and the Limits of Containment. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 13(1):59-61.

(2012). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 13(1):59-61

A Psychoanalytic Encounter with Nathalie Djurberg's It's the Mother: On Sadism and the Limits of Containment

Amy Schwartz Cooney, Ph.D.

This essay considers Nathalie Djurberg's It's the Mother through a psychoanalytic lens, focusing on the challenge of sadomasochistic enactment and the potentials for malignant regression. Djurberg's claymation piece is viewed as resonant with Bioninan thought, seen as depicting the failure of containment—a scenario in which the analyst is unable to metabolize attack and is invaded and overcome. Similarly Djurberg's piece is relevant to Winnicott's formulations on the emergence of the capacity for externality and object usage through destruction. In Djurberg's piece a nonretaliatory holding stance leads not to new capacities but to aggressive colonization and merger. It's the Mother engages the viewer in an exploration of the value of holding in the face of unremitting attack and the masochistic potentials of offering oneself as receptacle for another's aggression, suggesting that limits may need to be set on sadism to preserve each member of the analytic dyad and the integrity of their endeavor.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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