Anguish in the meanders of art : the relationship between anguish and processes of artistic creativity.

Carvalho, Maria Celia Delgado de
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This study investigates the link between anguish and artistic creativity. It became possible to follow this link through the concept of anguish and its related aspects that were explored in the works of Jacques Lacan. The concept of art that was adopted in this study is based on the theories of Georges Dickie and Arthur Danto, which explain the role of the idea of institutional art through the artworld. The current study pursued its enquiries through the analysis of the texts of interviews with selected South African artists namely Albert Munyai, Azwimpheleli Gerson Magoro and Norman Catherine and through selected artworks by these three artists. A mix of discourse analysis and iconography was employed to analyse the data. Anguish is an affect that is not readily apparent or detectable but is more likely to be recognized as something displaced, inverted or adrift. Therefore, anguish in the data was approached from diverse angles. Discourse analysis helped to find patterns in the language that linked to signs of anguish as described through a psychoanalytical framework. For the analysis of the artworks, a combination of iconography and the categories of the borromean knot was adopted. These methodologies permitted the translation of aspects of artworks into texts. Anguish as an affect related with the absence of an absolute meaning for existence may also be present in the motivation to create something from nothingness. There is an indication that through creating art one may be trying to symbolize the real that affects the subject.