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Master of Fine Arts theory submission

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Cooper, Gaillyn (1995) Master of Fine Arts theory submission. Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

When the images of earth cling too tightly to memory, when the call of happiness becomes too insistent, it happens that melancholy rises in a mans heart. 1 Albert Camus.
I refer to these 'images of earth' as being our objects of desire, not solidified as real objects, but rather as voids of lament and yearning where real objects might exist.
Basic emotions are object driven. Fear, terror and rage are active emotions and demand a particular type of behaviour towards an object. In an effort to reduce such tension we may adopt either active or passive means of dealing with a problem, which is in essence, basically deferral or avoidance.
We may adopt a child-like demand for the intrusion of some magical act which will hopefully remove the undesirable burden and take away the pain, which would essentially be a passive means of sublimation. Or we could practice basic Freudian deferral and make a pre-meditated decision not to confront the issue. To wilfully defer confrontation is an active and conscious means of refusal. Consciousness tells us we have no need for the object, we act accordingly and this becomes a manipulation of our need to make the object less important, therefore less desirable. We may seek refuge in a variety of distractions adopted consciously or unconsciously, the decision made by our An abuse of the use of alcohol, drugs, and excessive licencious erotic behaviour are such examples. If we are unable or incapable of dealing with some turmoil, then our response is mechanistic. It becomes too difficult to confront and our capabilities are reduced rendering it impossible to act in any other way. This mechanistic method is a 'slipping-away' into a condition which autmatically denies any possibilty of having to use measures of control. A sufferer of a severe depression, hysteria, or a melancholic are subject to this state of inadequacy, or more particularly, are a result of it. There is a general unwillingness to free the libido from its attachment to the object. To do so would be to acknowledge the investment of energy and libido as being in need of alteration or substitution. Therefore what may arise as a result, is a sublimation of the need to resolve the psychological state by allowing the libido to be absorbed into melancholy. Thus any need for substitution or confrontation is deferred.
In other words; we know we should sensibly act on the loss of the object, but we resist, because to free the libido from that object would be to have to make certain admissions that would question the ego's performance.
It is during this period of mental adjustment to the loss of the object of desire that memories attached to that object are hypercathected. (This is where the opening quote by Camus is particularly relevant.)
1 Camus, Albert. On Suicide, p.115.

Item Type: Thesis (Unspecified)
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 1995 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Slides in back pocket. Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1996. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2014 03:36
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 02:39
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