Does psychoanalysis recollect the forgotten past, making ways of resurrecting and containing deep experience? Or does it create words from feelings, making the unconscious conscious, enriching meanings to events that may give meaning to the here and now? Or does this perhaps describe the artistic endeavour, the creation of photographs to answer these questions. The analyst Liz Bennett, of ‘The Guild’ revues the self-portrait of Spencer Rowell.
‘As I revue this image, it is hard for me to reconcile some aspects of it, perhaps it is hard for the subject to reconcile aspects of himself’. The shape of the work suggests an old fashioned mirror, which allows you to see different views or aspects of the self and the suggestion of a lack of mirroring. This image suggests raw, strong feelings. The subtext seems to be, “Something is coming out of my mouth and the process is horrible and painful, yet I am spewing light and beauty.” Perhaps this is about the subject’s experience of therapy? Is he spewing words and feelings? Or a difficulty in finding a voice for his feelings, something within which he cannot accept and must vomit out, but when it comes out, it is beautiful. Alongside this beauty there is a sense of disturbance and anxiety, a struggle– powers that are beyond control’.
-There I Sit Before my Mother’s Mirror 2011