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Seduction into Life: Co-responding with Bracha L. Ettinger

'Fragilization and Resistance' and 'Neighborhood and Shechina'


Bracha L. Ettinger

About Bracha

Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger is an international contemporary artist based in Paris and Tel Aviv. She is considered to be an eminent French painter and alongside Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray to be one of the most prominent intellectuals associated with contemporary French psychoanalytical thought.

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 and the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (August 2009). Her next solo exhibitions will take place at 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.

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Com-passion involves transformational affects, and among them these major three: primary fascinance (that precedes or is in parallel to fascinum and might counter-balance control and submission by its transformational value), primary compassion (that precedes and might counter-balance abjection and abandonment), and primary awe (that might counter-balance shame and fear). These affects are primordial accesses to the other and to the Cosmos. Through them the other and the Cosmos do not turn into objects - their dynamic difference is preserved during cognizing. By way of these affects, the subtle human subjectivizing processes and the early positions are not "schizophrenic-paranoid". To be a subject without turning the other and the Cosmos into an object ― that is the question.
How to Cite: L. Ettinger, B., 2009. 'Fragilization and Resistance' and 'Neighborhood and Shechina'. Studies in the Maternal, 1(2), pp.1–31. DOI:
Published on 01 Jul 2009.
Peer Reviewed


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