Thought goes beyond Body. Or is it the other way around? As Jean-Luc Nancy states in Corpus, the truth about the Subject lies in its exteriority and excess, its infinite exposition, the body turned to the outside. The French philosopher continues by saying that "this idea gravitates around Derrida's discourse on Differánce: the difference between thought and body, between form and content." In the same way, Corpus presents a concept of body that contrasts with the platonic idea of the body as a prison, a house, or even as the container of the soul. This image of the body as a container leads to a metaphor of the organic deconstruction and rewriting of the body.
Then, how and where does the body stand next to conscience? What are the limits of intellect in relation to the physical? According to Nancy, following an inherited reading of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, we can say that none of them must exceed the other. We can allow the incorporeal sense to touch the body and the acts of the body to throw intuitions –even if they're ephemeral– of what it's outside. What remains is the alien, the external, and the outer. We can take as an example those moments of extreme love or loneliness, moments where going from the inside to the outside of feelings reach unsuspected levels of decision, rapture, or despair.
Daniel Ramos Obregón's images presented as a mixed media contemporary art project –in which prosthetic sculptures invade the human body– are the best examples of these states. His images open the doors to other forms of understanding this constant struggle between the body and the mind. One of Freud's most enduring ideas is his belief that the mind is structured into three parts and all develop at different stages in our lives. These systems are above the physical form and as we admire Ramos' work we are reminded of our experiences in falling in love and succumbing to desire and loneliness.
It refers to the deepest, most primitive and instinctual aspects of the mind. It is the receptacle of all of our sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories. It is a component that exists from the moment of birth and it is the unconscious part of our psyche ,which is controlled entirely by our instincts.
Its main task is to fulfill, in a realistic way, Id's desires and demands, and also reconcile the Super-ego's claims while doing so. The Ego lets us recognize the decisions we make regarding desires and as Freud said, "it is the part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world."
It's the part that confronts the Id; it represents the moral and ethical thoughts acquired and learned from culture, in other words, from the outside.It curves all of the id's impulses, especially those that go against society, such as sex and aggression.
So, while these basic psychology concepts from Freudian tradition can be related to philosophy, they can also connect with Nancy's conception of the body. There is something inside us that isn't corporeal; it's something that comes from the outside and permeates our thoughts. It identifies what is around us and reacts to what is close to us.
This project, according to Ramos Obregón, comes from extrospection –initially presented by the philosopher Roman Krznaric–, which proposes that in order to really know ourselves, one must live looking to the outside, and therefore experiment the life that one discovers and shapes.
This concept guides Daniel Ramos's work by unfolding the idea of the body –making projections to the outside, and showing what goes beyond the body in many directions– and taking metaphorical photos of the inside of the mind as forms of self-expression and representation. The artist portrays a Nancyan body that is excessive by nature and is marked by its exteriority and the human anatomy, which, according to psychoanalysis, reveals who we are on the outside.
Krznaric states that after a century of introspection characterized by the search of what is kept inside, now it is time for the twenty first century to look outside, to accept what's there, and what impacts us. This must be taken into account for a proper mediation and functioning of the human psyche. This is where Daniel Ramos Obregón's craft stands with his sculpted hybrids, his performative art, and photographs. In this level, conscience and body work as agents of sensations and act in terms of love or isolation, obeying to our deepest demands, without being destroyed by the superficial.
If you're interested in how psychoanalysis relates to art don't miss these articles:
Top 10 Movies That Were Inspired by Psychoanalysis
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You can take a look at Daniel Ramos Obregón's work in his Cargo Collective profile.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards