And by a prudent flight and cunning save A life which valour could not, from the grave. A better buckler I can soon regain, But who can get another life again? Archilochus

Monday, May 30, 2022

Resisting Subjective Fantasy Through the Objective Subjectivity of Over-Identification

Slavoj Žižek, "I'll be your frog!"
A current beer ad allows us to clarify sexual distinction.

At first, the famous fairy tale is staged: a girl comes to the edge of the stream, sees a frog, gently picks it up, kisses it, and of course the miracle happens: the ugly frog turns into a young and beautiful man. But the story doesn't end there: The young man gives her a harsh look, pulls her to himself, kisses her – and the girl turns into a bottle of beer, with a triumphant air the man holds the bottle in his hand...

The woman's concern is to transform the frog into a beautiful man, that is, into a complete phallic presence (Φ in Lacan's mathems) with her love and attention; the man's concern is to reduce the woman to the partial object that causes his own desire (the little object a in Lacan's mathem). It is because of this asymmetry that "there is no sexual intercourse": either there is a frog with a woman, or there is a beer bottle with a man – a "natural" pair of beautiful men and women can never be acquired. Reason? Because the fanciful support of this "ideal couple" would be inconsistent: the frog wrapped in a beer bottle.

We can resist the penetration of fantasy into us through over-identification. You embrace the multitude of excessively identical incoherent fanciful elements all at the same time and place.

Each of the two subjects is immersed in its own subjective fantasy – the girl imagines that the frog is actually a young man; The man dreams that the girl is actually a bottle of beer. [But the opposite] is not objective reality, but the "objective subjectivity" of the underlying fantasy, which subjects can never take on.

If the frog wrapped in a beer bottle were a painting of Magritte, its title would be "male and female" or "ideal couple." Isn't that the ethical task of contemporary artists? Isn't it to confront the frog hugging the beer bottle while we dream of hugging our beloved?

From the Epidemic of Dreams

Turkish: Işık Barış Fidaner


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