Pollock on Ettinger's Interpretation Theory and Encounter ... notions on the way to how we interpret sound

Louise Bourgeois 1911–2010
Cell (Eyes and Mirrors) 1989–93
Marble, mirrors, steel and glass
2362 x 2108 x 2184 mm

Article: What if Art Desires to be Interpreted? Remodelling Interpretation after the ‘Encounter-Event’

by Greselda Pollock 

published in the Tate Papers Issue 15 Spring 2011

'.... Writing as both an artist and an analyst-theorist, Bracha L. Ettinger declares that it is the destiny of artworks to be interpreted. She formulates the inevitable connection between subjectivity, initially the artist’s, and the Symbolic, the field of meaning, in ways which at first echo Julia Kristeva’s notion of art as the semiotic transgression of the Symbolic order. But Ettinger goes further...

    "Artists continually introduce into culture all sorts of Trojan horses from the margins of their consciousness; in that way, the limits of the Symbolic are transgressed all the time by art. It is quite possible that many work-products carry subjective traces of their creators, but the specificity of works of art is that their materiality cannot be detached from ideas, perceptions, emotions, consciousness cultural meanings, etc, and that being interpreted and reinterpreted is their cultural destiny. This is one of the reasons why works of art are symbologenic." 5

And again Ettinger writes:

    "Artists inscribe traces of subjectivity, Oedipal or not in ‘external’ cultural/symbolic territories (i.e. artworks), and by analyzing these inscriptions, it is possible to create and forge concepts which indicate and elaborate traces of an-other Real and change aspects of the symbolic representation (and non-representation) of the feminine within culture.  From time to time the artist’s gaze is suddenly split and we find ourselves in the position of observer-interpreter. I see the inscription of oneself in the Symbolic and the recognition of one’s own desire through the Symbolic as inter-related, self-organizing, continuous events. I believe, therefore, that the Symbolic must be penetrated by women even if choosing one name/concept will be considered phallic. In that way, alternative ideas, deviating from the Phallus, may enlarge the text of culture." 6

Pollock ... Thus, it is not as a woman that the artist changes culture and brings into it new possibilities; it is instead achieved through working as an artist on these margins, opening passages from other unthought dimensions of subjectivities and sexual difference into a transformed realm of cultural meaning. In the case of feminism, this means challenging the phallocentric domination of the Symbolic and shifting or expanding its potential for supporting other, different, differencing meanings and subjectivities. 

5. & 6. Bracha L. Ettinger, ‘Matrix and Metramorphosis’, Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, vol.4, no.5, 1992, pp.195–6.
Griselda Pollock is Professor of Social & Critical Histories of Art and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.

Think of the traces as SOUND. The unthought dimentions as sounded-possibilities...
Greselda Pollock writes so well about Ettingers notions of the matrixial borderspace, interpretation, language and art. Part of putting GIRRL together as to open up thinking spaces around sound and theory. I'm relying  on Ettinger  and Pollock and Stein to write a theory of sounded-language or soundage as I'm calling it... more of this coming soon.

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