An online seminar exploring Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Drive’ in relation to Lacan’s take on Freudian dream logic

The wonderful (but strange!) filmic worlds of David Lynch lend themselves surprisingly well to Freudo-Lacanian thinking. In this special LiS event, Olga Cox Cameron will be presenting her contribution to a new collection of essays, Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain.

Cox Cameron finds in Lynch’s 2001 masterpiece Mulholland Drive a text replete with the mechanisms of the dream-work identified in Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams. Yet if Mulholland Drive lends itself to Freudian dream-logic, it also invites us, with Lacan, to pose a series of questions on the relationship between the unconscious cipher and the magnetising power of trauma.

Placing the film alongside James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake as rare examples of artworks which succeed in reproducing dream logic and considering Freud’s 1900 dream theory in light the developments of Beyond the Pleasure Principle, this talk examines the film with reference to the question posed by Lacan in relation to Freud’s famous ‘Irma’ dream: given that the dream repeatedly comes up against something that provokes anxiety, what allows the dreamer to continue dreaming?

Cox Cameron’s presentation will be prefaced with some introductory comments by the book’s editors, Jamie Ruers and Stefan Marianski.

Olga Cox Cameron’s first career was in literary studies, having written an MA thesis on Proust, worked as a tutor in the Department of French at University College, Dublin, and started—but not completed— a PhD on Beckett at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Following a decade of working with homeless people in Dublin, she trained as a psychoanalyst at St Vincent’s University Hospital, completed a PhD on narrative (im)possibilities in psychosis, and has been in private practice for the past thirty-three years. She lectured in Psychoanalytic Theory and also in Psychoanalysis and Literature at St Vincent’s University Hospital and Trinity College from 1991 to 2013 and has published numerous articles on these topics in national and international journals. She is the founder of the annual Irish Psychoanalysis and Cinema Festival, now in its thirteenth year.

Stefan Marianski is Education Manager at the Freud Museum London, where he works to engage young people with psychoanalytic thought. He has organised a number of events and conferences on psychoanalytic themes, and has written and lectured on dreams, sexuality, anthropology, surrealism, and masculinity. He is a manager with the Psychosis Therapy Project and a trainee at the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research.

Jamie Ruers is Events Manager at the Freud Museum London, where she builds a public programme of events, conferences, and exhibitions that engage with psychoanalysis through a range of disciplines. She is an art historian whose research focuses on various cultural aspects of Vienna in the nineteenth- and twentieth-centuries, and Surrealist art, fashion and film. She has published and lectured for organisations around the world, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association, the Chilean Psychoanalytic Association and the Austrian Cultural Forum and Arts Fund.

The seminar will take place on Zoom on Thursday 24 November 2022 at 8pm-9:30pm Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). It will be followed by a virtual pub gathering on the platform ‘Wonder’. Please be aware that Eventbrite (and Facebook) usually automatically converts the event time for the time zone from which you view the page.

The event is open to everyone and free with Eventbrite registrationThe Zoom link will be available for registrants on the ‘Online Event Page’ (found when accessing your ticket on Eventbrite) on the day of the seminar, which is where you can also find information about the virtual pub taking place afterwards on the platform Wonder.

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