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Greenspan, R. (2017). Dreaming Woman: Image, Place, and the Aesthetics of Exile. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(4):1047-1073.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(4):1047-1073

Interdisciplinary Papers

Dreaming Woman: Image, Place, and the Aesthetics of Exile

Rachel Greenspan

(Accepted for publication 3 August 2016)

Looking closely at an Argentine dream interpretation column published in a popular women's magazine from 1948 to 1951, this article examines the role of the dream image in shaping psychoanalytic discourse on femininity and national identity. The column, ‘Psychoanalysis Will Help You,’ emerged during Juan Domingo Perón's first presidency, featuring verbal interpretations written under the pen name ‘Richard Rest,’ as well as surreal photomontages by Grete Stern, a German-born, Bauhaus-trained photographer living in exile since 1936. While the column's Jungian text encourages readers' adaptation to the external reality of their social situation, Stern's droll images emphasize the disjuncture between subject and environment, exposing tensions between the experience of exile and the Peronist mission to consolidate an Argentine national identity. Experimenting formally with European avant-garde techniques, Stern presents femininity and nation as conflictive imaginary configurations. This theme resurfaces at the 2013 Venice Biennale, where Nicola Costantino's multimedia installation Eva - Argentina: A Contemporary Metaphor was exhibited alongside Carl Jung's Red Book. Formal contrasts between Stern's use of photomontage, Costantino's projection technique, and Jung's theory of mandala symbolism indicate the divergent ways in which their artwork posits the therapeutic function of the dream image, as well as the role of aesthetic production in psychoanalytic care.

[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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