Cite as: Susanne Leeb, Introduction to the lecture Bracha L. Ettinger, Beyond Uncanny Anxiety, ICI Berlin, 12 November 2010, video recording, mp4, 06:55 <>
12 Nov 2010


By Susanne Leeb

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:06:55
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Lecture

Beyond Uncanny Anxiety / Bracha L. Ettinger

The Israeli-French artist, psychoanalyst, and theoretician Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger develops in her theory of matrixial borderspace, bordertime, and borderlinking an approach that allows us to rethink subjectivity and artistic production and offers a new concept of the feminine while articulating the specificities of a time-space for this feminine. Critically referring to classical and modern psychoanalytic writings (Freud, the British Group, Intersubjectivity, Lacan), she shows the extent to which the feminine in psychoanalysis has been conceptualized within the framework of ‘castration anxiety’, creating associations between the feminine and threats of regression, death, or insanity. Parallel conceptions of the feminine appear in terms of loss or victimisation and resonate throughout Western culture: ‘the list is long, from the myth of Orpheus until Duchamp’s “Bride”’ (Ettinger). Yet, Ettinger’s approach doesn’t concentrate on criticising; rather, it is a poetic emergence of a new thinking-feeling of a field of transsubjectivity.

In her lecture Bracha L. Ettinger addresses the Freudian 'unheimlich' to take it beyond its links to Angst (uncanny anxiety) into other affect, which Ettinger considers to be just as primary. Ettinger introduces new ways to think aesthetic effects and art-criticality,  where the aesthetic proto-ethical matrixiality informs both art and ethics. Ettinger’s lecture and installation continues a series of what the artist calls encounter-eventing.

Bracha L. Ettinger (IL/FR) is an international contemporary artist based in Paris and Tel Aviv and an intellectual associated with contemporary French psychoanalytical thought. Her most recent exhibition took place at the Tapies Foundation in Barcelona (Alma Matrix. Bracha L. Ettinger and Ria Verhaeghe, curated by Catherine de Zegher). Her recent solo exhibitions took place in the summer of 2009 at the Freud Museum, London and at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Her next solo exhibition will take place at the Musee des beaux-arts, Angers. Ettinger’s paintings, photos, drawings, notes from conversations, and notebooks have been exhibited extensively in major museums of contemporary art.

Ettinger is the author of several books and many psychoanalytical essays (among them Copoiesis) on what she calls, since the mid-1980s, ‘matrix’ and ‘matrixial trans-subjectivity’. Her book The Matrixial Borderspace (2006) contains essays written between 1994 and 1999, a preface by Judith Butler, and introduction by Griselda Pollock, afterword by Brian Massumi. Ettinger is an activist against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories affiliated with Physicians for Human Right – Israel (PHR).

Welcome: Luca di Blasi
Introduction by Susanne Leeb


ICI Berlin
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Organized by

SFB 626 Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits (FU Berlin)
In cooperation with the ICI Berlin and the group Theoriepraxis