88 min, color, 2011
The movie is taken from a therapy session which took place in deSingel in autumn 2010. The talk was happening via Skype with my therapist who lives in Vienna. The pictures are not cut, while the audio is: I took the voice of my therapist out. The whole audio-visual material has been slowed down extremely: the result is an atmospheric and dark film about myself, struggling with my unconscious.
Through the cutting out of the therapist's voice it remains one possibly readable unconscious. According to Freud, the unconscious system is not merely that which is outside the field of consciousness at a given time, but that which has been radically separated from consciousness by repression and thus cannot enter the conscious-preconscious system without distortion (Dylan Evans). In the movie there's a double distortion happening: the already existing distortion in one's use of language and the distortion of the recorded speech. Minus plus minus is plus?
By giving the film the title “Don't you see the unconscious speaking?”, I draw on one hand the picture of the unconscious as an autonomous agent, who is living in me like a creature, a parasite. It speaks with a dark, slow and tired voice out of me, and I imagine it looking like the flying giant furry animal in “The endless story” by Michael Ende. It's a grotesque, parodist interpretation of “the unconcious.”
Lacan says, that the laws of the unconscious are those of repetition and desire. In the therapy process one is constantly confronted with these facts; both can have a very ugly face, almost unbearable. While working on the movie I didn't want to hear myself repeating what I'm repeating since ages, so I blocked it somehow through stopping the understandable speech. I tried to block a law, and through this I was creating something new. The content of the speech is hidden, the audience can only imagine it. Through imagining the content of a therapy session they are confronted with own “unconscious” complexes, and maybe they are able to hear in themselves “the unconscious speaking”.
The video itself is repeating constantly. Through the sound it affects the space outside the room where it is shown: it's the constant presence of something darkly murmuring, having it's origin in a totally black space, radiating in the building.
I've been consulting therapists since around 5 years, with breaks in between and also one change of the therapist. My first therapist proposed me to do a deep psychological analysis and gave me the contact of my second therapist. They are both women. To be “nailed” in such a process caused repeated tries of escapes, where I didn't show up in the meetings or spent longer periods outside the city where my therapist worked. The film doesn't show the whole length of the session, because the tape was full after half an hour.
To record the session grew out of the need to pin down the unconscious. My first impression by reading Lacan was that I can grasp it only in the setting of the talking cure: one participant is speaking, the other is interpreting the spoken word, and it is exactly in speech where the unconscious can be found. “We only grasp the unconscious finally when it is explicated, in that part of it which is articulated by passing into words.” (Lacan) The aim of the therapeutic setting is to name the patients desire, therefore to bring it into existence, and to learn to bear it. The unconscious is traceable in specific language formations like jokes, slips of tongue, mistakes or symptoms, so Lacan. “The unconscious is the determination of the subject by the symbolic order.” The question arises here: is facial expression and gestures then also affected by the spoken language? Aren't they a language standing for themselves? What about body language? Is there an unconscious speaking out of the flesh, the bones, the physical material? How much is the body formed and conditioned by language?
According to the movie there's apparently a strong connection between the two: the face shows the suffering, the attempt to concentrate, to find words, to evade, to laugh embarrassed about words, to defend. Is there any facial expression without language?
The title of the film is pointing to the idea that there could also be a physical unconscious speaking, not only an unconscious in language.
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