Jouissance and Lisa Yuskavage

What I find interesting about the art of Lisa Yuskavage in her current show at the David Zwirmer gallery 24 Grafton St (on until 28 July) is the way she portrays jouissance – a psychoanalytic hypothesis that defines both pleasure and anxiety and has to do with the body. There is an excess that distorts the subject’s psychic world and there is also something absurd and ridiculous about it. Here you can see how the artist caricatures form and exaggerates colour to evoke this idea of jouissance.

In this particular painting you could interpret her intention to contrast the two neurotic structures of the obsessional (typically male but could be female) with the hysteric (typical female but could be male) with the obsessional, in this painting depicted as kind of 70’s hippy fauns, leaning towards the question of death ‘am I dead or alive’ with the muted tones showing the life drained out by their continual looping. In contrast to this voluptuous hysteric bulging with jouissance – a kind of narcissistic pleasure from being loved; to be the love object, holding at bay the need for satisfaction19511260_1065202680280000_5623323649372950903_n

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