Open Seminar

Screens of Perception
Felix Guattari and the Cinema of the Institutional Psychotherapy
Guestprofessor: Angela Melitopoulos

Guattari’s thinking and practice is also a history of resistance through political movements starting at the psychiatric asylum of St. Alban during World War Second. We continue with the discussion between political movements in France taking place at the clinic of La Borde before and after 1968, ending with Guattari’s elaboration of a New Ecology in which an ‘animist’ intuition plays an important role. With a rich collection of documents and films showing the history of ’Institutional Psychotherapy’ at St. Alban and La Borde, with interviews and documents that display Guattari’s way of speaking, arguing and thinking, and with a series of interviews recorded with his dearest friends and colleagues, we will compose a series of lectures that translate Guattari’s thought in diverse media. Many filmmakers such as Jean Rouch, Fernand Deligny or René Lalou, visited and worked at the clinic of La Borde. They formed within the movement of ‚Cinema Verité’. La Borde, similarly to St. Alban during World War II, became an important meeting point for political movements, intellectuals and artists who translated their experiences into film and text.

Félix Guattari (1930 – 1992)
Félix Guattari was a French militant, institutional psychotherapist and philosopher, the founder of both Schizoanalysis and Ecosophy. Guattari is best known for his intellectual collaborations with Gilles Deleuze, most notably Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980). He strongly influenced the work of Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, Brian Massumi and Gilles Deleuze. Guattari’s post-Marxist vision of capitalism provides a new definition not only of mental illness, but also of micropolitical modes of subversion. Concepts such as ‘Micropolitics’, ’Schizoanalysis’, and ’Becoming-Woman‘ open up new horizons for political and creative resistance in the post-medial era. Guattari’s energetic analysis of art, cinema, youth culture, economics, and power formations introduce a radically inventive thought-process engaged in liberating subjectivity from the standardizing and homogenizing processes of global capitalism.

Lectures:
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Francois Tosquelles
date: 10. November, 10 am – 2 pm
location: Universität der Künste Berlin, room 115, Hardenbergerstrasse

Video : ‚Une Politique de la Folie’ by Francois Pain, 54min, 1989, and excerpts of the interview with Francois Tosquelles (raw material )

A video about the catalan psychiatrist Francois Tosquelles, the founder of the Institutional Psychotherapy at the asylum of St Alban during World War II.
The psychiatric asylum of St. Alban was the modell-clinic of La Borde, where Felix Guattari worked his entire life. The film shows French resistance fighters in St. Alban and the practice of an institutional psychotherapy that transformed the psychiatric asylum from a closed institution into an open one. This revolution in St. Alban is narrated by François Tosquelles, who was the thinker and practitioner of a form of psychiatry which broke down the walls of the hospital and allowed patients to be an active part of society.

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La Borde
date: 16. November, 10 am – 2 pm
location: Universität der Künste Berlin, room 115, Hardenbergerstrasse

Videos:

‚Les Dents du Singe’ by René Lalou, animation film, (1960, 11 min)
‚La Borde ou le Droit à la Folie’ , documentary by Igor Barrère (1977, 60 min)
‚Min Tanaka à la Borde’ by Joséphine Guattari and François Pain (1986, 25min)

Félix Guattari worked in the psychiatric clinic of La Borde with patients but also with peasants, workers, migrants and with artists, philosophers and activists. The clinic became a platform for the invention of and experimentation with new modes of organisation, that demonstrate fundamental interest for the schizophrenic and psychotic expressions of life. Still today, the clinic retains an idea of work organisation as a part of the institutional psychotherapy that Félix promoted with passion: everybody’s role changes; no task was attributed specifically to anyone in particular because everyone and not only the professionals had a potential for healing; everyone participated in the cure. Many filmmakers and artists discussed and worked in the clinic of La Borde.

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The cinema of Fernand Deligny
date: 24. November, 10 am – 2 pm
location: Universität der Künste Berlin, room 115, Hardenbergerstrasse

Videos: Le Moindre Geste, France, 95 min , 1962-1971

Fernand Deligny considered himself a poet and an ethologist. At Armentières asylum, in Lille during World War II, in the course of the “Grande Cordée” project, and later at Cévennes, he came up with spatial tools such as open-ended mapping systems that were distinct from standard notions of cartography. He pushed limits, observed and transcribed the lines of „wanderings” of the autistic children. This “deterritorialization” preserves the notion of location. The lines of wandering are not the lines of escape nor the Rhizome of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Deligny’s references to species and ethology go hand in hand with his thought regarding the notion of territory as an environment.

Deligny considered environment as the elected ground of the autistic “lack of want”. His critique of teleology echoes the precautions of the ethologists of his time where they tackle the notion of instinct and the erroneous opposition between the acquired and the innate.

http://multitudes.samizdat.net/Fernand-Deligny-imager-le-commun
http://unspokencinema.blogspot.com/2009/05/least-gesture-deligny.html
http://www.desterritoires.com/spip.php?article75

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Glossarium : concepts of Felix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze
date: 1. Dezember, 10 am – 2 pm
location: Universität der Künste Berlin, room 115, Hardenbergerstrasse

Text: concepts : Assemblage of collective enuncaition (agencement collectif d’énonciation); Assemblage of collective action; schizo-analytical cartographies (cartographie schizo-analytic)
becoming,/ becoming animal (devenir/ devenir animal); molaire/moleculaire; Significant and
a-siginificant semiotics (sémiotiques signifiante et a-signifiantes); territorialisation/deterritorialisation ; production of subjectivity; chronological and non-chronological time (temps chronologique /temps non chronologique); the aesthetical paradigm

Videos:
excerpts of a lecture of Felix Guattari in New York in 1992 recorded by Josephine Meckseper

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Assemblages

Seminar with guest lecturer Maurizio Lazzarato and Francois Pain (to be confirmed)
Date: 7. December
location: Universität der Künste Berlin, room 115, Hardenbergerstrasse

Subjectivity does not reside exclusively in the subject and in language. It is disseminated to different degrees (Guattari speaks of „degrees of existence“) in nature, the cosmos, machines, in the social, etc. Intuitively, the first connection to animism can
be identified here: a multiplicity of ‘foyers of human and non-human subjectivities’ that disperse the exclusive concentration of subjectivity in the human being.

Guattari’s interest in archaic cultures, the mad, children, minorities etc. demonstrates a concern with how a multiplicity of modalities (physical, ritual, verbal, visual and sexual) are put into play with one another in an autonomous and non-hierarchical relationship. None of these levels takes precedence or has power over the other, whereas in modernity all polyphony of expression, the richness and poly-semantic levels of the word, gestures, singing, the voice, the image, etc., become interdependant and subordinated in a hierarchy that is established by the signifiers of a language that reproduces a specific consciousness and a representation of the individual subject.

Videos : Francois Pain about his artistic practice in the clinic of La Borde (1965-1987)
Video interview with Félix Guattari on the Gulf War 1991 recorded by Canal Déchainé Paris

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Seminar with guest lecturer Francois Pain (to be confirmed)

Date: 15. December
location: Universität der Künste Berlin, room 115, Hardenbergerstrasse

videos and text
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Lygia Clarke
date: 5. January, 10 am – 2 pm
location: Universität der Künste Berlin, room 115, Hardenbergerstrasse

videos and text

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Anti-Elektra
date: 11. January, 10 am – 2 pm
location: Universität der Künste Berlin, room 115, Hardenbergerstrasse
Text by Elisabeth von Samsonov

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Corridor X by Angela Melitopoulos (to be confirmed)
date: 19. January, 10 am – 2 pm
location: Universität der Künste Berlin, room 115, Hardenbergerstrasse

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