(M)Other Re-spect: Maternal Subjectivity, the Ready-made mother-monster and The Ethics of Respecting


A groundbreaking theoretician working at the intersection of art, psychoanalysis, feminine sexuality, ethics and aesthetics, she is the author of several books and more than eighty psychoanalytical essays on what she has named "matrix" and "matrixial trans-subjectivity" since the mid 1980s. Her book The Matrixial Borderspace (essays from 1994-1999) appeared in English in 2006 (published by the University of Minnesota Press with a foreword by Judith Butler, an introduction by Griselda Pollock, and an afterword by Brian Massumi who also edited the collection). She is a practicing psychoanalyst and holds together the practice of artist and of psychoanalyst in a unique way. Her co-authored series of conversations with Emmanuel Lévinas, Edmond Jabès, Félix Guattari, Christian Boltanski and other artists and philosophers are considered, alongside her notebooks, photography, scannography, and painting, as major contributions to contemporary art and culture. She has also published famous photographs of Jean-François Lyotard, Jabès, Lévinas, Joyce McDougall and others. Ettinger is Professor of Psychoanalysis and Art at the Media & Communications Division of the European Graduate School in Saas Fee (Switzerland).

A recent selection of her solo exhibitions includes the Freud Museum (June-July 2009) in London, the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (August 2009), the Tapies Foundation, Barcelona (May 2010) and the Freud Dream Museum, St Petersburg (September 2010). Her paintings, photos, drawings and notebooks have been exhibited extensively in major museums of contemporary art and her solo exhibitions include Le Palais des beaux-Arts, Brussels (2000) and The Drawing Center, New York (2001). She has participated in group exhibitions at Centre G. Pompidou, Paris and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and her recent group exhibitions include Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (2006-2007) and The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp (2006). Her paintings and drawings are included in public collections at Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris), Pori Museum of Art (Finland), Israel Museum (Jerusalem), Museum of Modern Art (England), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Israel) and Pompidou Centre (Paris).

Ettinger's artistic work is a subject of reflection and research for a number of art historians and philosophers. The art historian Griselda Pollock and the philosophers Jean-François Lyotard, Christine Buci-Glucksmann and Judith Butler, have each dedicated several essays to her pioneering art and renovating thought - art and thought that have influenced not only the visual arts and psychoanalysis of the last two decades but also different fields such as contemporary philosophy, queer and gender studies and the domains of film and literature.

How to Cite

L. Ettinger, B., (2010) “(M)Other Re-spect: Maternal Subjectivity, the Ready-made mother-monster and The Ethics of Respecting”, Studies in the Maternal 2(1), 1-24. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/sim.150


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Bracha L. Ettinger



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