Analysis Of The Poem ' Approaching Abjection ' Essay

Analysis Of The Poem ' Approaching Abjection ' Essay

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Louise Joséphine Bourgeois (25 December 1911 – 31 May 2010) was a French-American sculptor best known for her large scale sculptures and installations which dealt with autobiographical themes ranging from sexuality to family domesticity. Bourgeois was also an avid painter and printmaker that, like her three-dimensional work, was abstract expressionist in nature and dealt with similar themes of sexuality and family domesticity. As her work is autobiographical, there is a sense of abjection in many of her works due to tension and conflict between her father, who she resented, and the rest of her family. Julia Kristeva, a French philosopher born in 1941, addresses abjection in “Approaching Abjection” which builds off of Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis. Paternal abjection is evident in The Destruction of the Father and key elements in Kristeva’s writing can aid in fathoming what the abject is and how it is present in Bourgeois’ work.
In “Approaching Abjection,” Kristeva addresses many key elements that create the abject condition. An important key element is that the abject is “neither subject nor object” as it is not a physical thing that can be seen, touched, etc. The abject is a condition, a feeling of impending doom that is constantly existing. In addition, the abject is violent and repulses all desires, casting off the dejected and ensuring that they do not become the abject1. Some of what Kristeva discusses in her essay is built off of Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis and developed to a more specific notion which is a pivotal concept between Kristeva’s abject and The Destruction of the Father.
Sigmund Freud’s writing on psychoanalysis, “The Relation of the Poet to Day-Dreaming” ponders over how poets, or in this ...


... middle of paper ...


...sheds light on what Bourgeois is attempting to achieve with this piece.
Louise Bourgeois was a French-American artist that created both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, the latter for which she is best known. Her subject material explored human sexuality and family domesticity due to the auto-biographical nature of her work. The Destruction of the Father is one such auto-biographical installation that offers an intimate view into Bourgeois’ abject childhood and aids in understanding what exactly the abject is in relation to “Approaching Abjection.” Bourgeois was an important artist who may be studied and read about for a long time to come due to her subject material and its relationship to Julia Kristeva’s thoughts on abjection. Both explored the abject, but Bourgeois, through her art, was able to cleanse herself of abjection and was no longer dejected.

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