The Broken Body: Regression

The psychic reversion to childhood desires. When normally functioning desire meets with powerful external obstacles, which prevent satisfaction of those desires, the subject sometimes regresses to an earlier phase in psychosexual development. Example: a normally functioning woman is dumped by her boyfriend and starts over-eating (thus regressing to the oral phase). Regression can result either in neurosis (if accompanied by repression) or in perversion. In our example, the neurotic begins over-eating; the pervert gives up men and becomes a lesbian (a sexual identity that Freud saw as perversion, though many have since critiqued him on this point).
Mike Kelly, Ahh Youth..., 1991.











Robert Gober, Untitled, 1989 - 1990.











Kiki Smith, Untitled, 1986.
Kiki Smith, Untitled, 1986. (detail)












Janine Antoni, Loving Care, 1992.











Janine Antoni, Chocolate and Lard Gnaw, 1992.
600 lbs. of chocolate gnawed by the artist over a month, and 600 lbs. of lard (before licking and biting)











Janine Antoni, Lipsticks and Candy Box, 1992.
150 lipsticks made with pigment, beeswax, and chewed lard removed from the lard cube, and 45 heart-shaped packages made from the chewed chocolate removed from the chocolate cube.











“[The abject] is simply a frontier, a repulsive gift that the Other, having become alter ego, drops so that the ‘I’ does not disappear in it but finds, in that sublime alienation, a forfeited existence.”
- Julia Kristeva in Powers of Horror: an Essay on Abjection
Kiki Smith, Tale, 1992.











Kiki Smith, Pee Body, 1992.
Kiki Smith, Train, 1993.











Robert Gober, Untitled, with Hanging Man / Sleeping Man Wallpaper, 1989 - 1996.
Silk satin, muslin, linen, tulle, welded steel, hand-printed silkscreen on paper,
cast hydrostone plaster, vinyl acrylic paint, ink, and graphite.
Dimensions variable, approximately 800 square feet installed.












Catherine Opie, Self-Portrait, 1993.











Perverse Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait Nursing

Asstd. definitions of "pervert" =
to lead astray morally
to turn away from the right course
to turn to an improper use; misapply
to bring to a less excellent state; vitiate; debase
pathology, to change to what is unnatural or abnormal
Catherine Opie, Self-Portrait/ Pervert, 1994.
Catherine Opie, Self-Portrait Nursing, 2004.










Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917.
Robert Gober, Untitled, 1984.
Plaster, wood, wire lath, aluminum, watercolor, semi-gloss enamel paint. 28 x 33 x 22 1/2″ (71.1 x 83.8 x 57.2 cm)











“The abject confronts us… with our earliest attempts to release the hold of maternal entity even before ex-isting outside of her…. It is a violent, clumsy breaking away, with the constant risk of falling back under the sway of power as securing as it is stifling.” - Julia Kristeva in Powers of Horror: an Essay on Abjection
Robert Gober, Untitled, 1995 - 1997.
Robert Gober, Untitled, 1995 - 1997.
Leather, wood, forged iron, cast plastics, bronze, silk satin, steel, beeswax, human hair, brick, fiberglass, urethane, paint, lead, motors, and water, 10’ ½” x 8’ 8” x 6’ 3”.











The work is "about everybody's memories, as well as their fears." - Sally Mann


Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette, 1989.











Last Light

Sally Mann, Last Light, 1989.











Sally Mann, The Terrible Picture, 1989.
Sally Mann, Jessie and the Deer, 1985.











Sally Mann, Emmett and the White Boy, 1990.











Mike Kelley, More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin, 1987.





















Paul McCarthy, Santa Chocolate Shop, 1997.











Paul McCarthy, Pinocchio Pipenose Dilemma, 1994.
Paul McCarthy, Painter, 2007.











Paul McCarthy, Tree, 2014 on the Place Vendome.











Semen and Blood

Andres Serrano, Semen and Blood III, 1990.











Andres Serrano, The Morgue (AIDS related Death II), 1992.
Andres Serrano, The Morgue (Hacked to Death), 1992.











Andres Serrano, Self Portrait Shit, 2008.











Catherine Opie, Oliver in a Tutu, 2004.