Arthur Robbins – 2. Del – Nordisk Seminar

Arthur Robbins – 2. Del – Nordisk Seminar


I started to explore my work with stone as you can see there is a characteristic
hole there says a lot about me because I’m constantly trying to kind of work with the hole and create an environment around it and part of that hole is that schizoid part of me this is one of my first stone pieces and if I were to do this again I would actually reshape that hole because the hole is not yet
completely connected to the stone that is holding it what I started to develop is an understanding of working with stone the way you would never work with
any other kind of material because you are in for a challenge with
stone that you don’t usually find in clay for me at least one of the first things you learn is that the stone is a wonderful teacher the stone says “if you go against
my rhythm and if you fight me you will not find anything inside me but if you hold me, touch me, feel me and find my rhythm and play
with my rhythm then we will find something together” and so one of the first things that you learn
as a sculptor is that you don’t fight the stone you let the stone speak to you you don’t try to impose your ideas on it you may have something but the stone will
say something back to you and the stone will have its own message
that must unfold each stone then says something the way a
patient does if you try to impose too much of your ideas on
a patient rather than discovering what happens between you and a patient then you’re superimposing, you’re going against
that person’s ryhthm if you hear the rhythm and play back with it then there’s something that can be
discovered each piece of stone had its own kind of message and you
learned some things about stone for instance some of my students who work with stone they’re very frightened of injuring the stone of giving it a
too hard a knock you learn that sometimes all to
open something up you must use your aggression aggression is not hostile aggression is something helping aggression is using that kind of forcing yourself
that dares to shape so that the whole aspect of using your aggression and not
finding it dangerous becomes a very important part of the parallel
between a sculpture, an artist and a therapist I think once in awhile you hit a crack
in the stone and the whole thing opens up in a very different way and you say “oh my god where’s it going now?” and you have been following the new accident the new accident the new becoming then it sets the groundwork for new possibilities that have been
going on with stone and so one thing that you learn as a therapist as well expect the surprise go with the surprise and when the accident occurs and when I say accident, suppose
something you say slips out of you and you say something awful to the patient,
and the patient says “how could you!?” “how could you say that to me!?” or you forget a session and the patient comes in “I was there, where were you?” and you think “oh my god” “here is the patient I rejected” but at this moment in
this kind of accident sets the stage for something new to happen because if you can have the honesty of
looking at what happened of what was going on inside of you to create that accident and share that with that patient it sets the stage for two human beings meeting because, somewhere, that accident were you were acting out something very
unconscious with that patient that was meeting your unconscious and for you to dare to say “I met you
somewhere and this is what happened to me” it is no longer therapist/ authority and patient two human beings struggling there looking at what happened and there’s mutual sharing and that painful sharing that if you can own up to without judgment without criticism but this is what
happened this becomes the beginning of what I call “a new transformation in treatment” I started to work with metal as you can see part of me likes to do something big a couple of people in the audience are sitting here this was done in Italy who were with me in Italy it’s a piece what I call my piece of transition in summers that I took to New Hampshire I always weld and this took place in a new institute where some
of my students started a new institute in the summer it was in Italy it was an old farm and as I was wandering around there
I saw these old welding tools and I received permission
to use them and I put some pieces together
I found on the farm I didn’t know where this image
had come from me but it was both prehistoric, it had the curves it had a certain direction and it had a certain kind of unconscious
state that I couldn’t put words in but it was somewhere with a connection
from the past to the present to somewhere where we didn’t know where
we were going in this new program I started to recognise the first time that many images that come from you don’t just come from personal experiences that images can be pulled from
many sources around you from the future that you hardly know not just from the past my union friends might recall that images sometimes
come from many types of sources I started to learn that images are personal they could be broad, they can be limited but that the artist sometimes or the therapist can touch upon images in themself that can call upon not just the personal but sometimes something broad and bigger so that somewhere you are pulling from
the forces around you and bring that into your
consciousness as a statement of not only your past
but of something bigger than you something that is beyond words
that says something on another level of consciousness this is a small piece I made in Manhattan and my patients will be able to tell you that
they have seen that piece in me very well this is the part of me that is the comic, the prodder the person who provokes there is a round holding pot that meets the empty hole inside of me there is this prodder inside of me this provoker that is constantly engagingly patients
and my students and is playful inside of me now it’s interesting
that many of these images do not come out very easily
in my social relationships many of my friends comment “we don’t understand you Art you are an extraordinary quiet person
you stay by yourself, and then we see all your art that is
very different and when you are a teacher or when you are a therapist you are very different but when you are socially with us you are very quiet” some people have asked me “how come you work so intensively?” in many ways my work becomes my holding and that created my way
of feeding me that way because I’m able to do in the work frame that I sometimes do not do in a social frame and that is I allow my unconscious to come out and play with what is around me but when I’m in certain areas that is all stopped I have learned something then about artist dream and about art creations what comes out in one place
does not always come out in another and for someone to just do art and to think that that’s a way of
healing themselves well yes that we can sometimes occur but often the art in itself can create much that is going on that’s completely cut off for the person for the rest of their lives and that there is a different from
art expression and art that becomes healing
or therapeutic because when art is communicated
to another person and there is created a meeting ground between
the unconscious and the art and the artist and the therapist receives it and the space develops between them that is not inside or outside but
somewhere in-between that is what commonly called
“that magical symphysis” it’s where you go and hear a consenting
and you are transformed it’s where you see a play
and you’re right in the play it’s creating a space that lives the artist creates that space
with the artwork but sometimes the artwork can only speak back in a very limited form
and for some artist, indeed the artwork chases them it becomes the oppressor it does not heal them but becomes a paranoid accuser untill some
artist even going crazy from their artwork now it is not always possible for some artist to be healed by
their art I believe because there is a missing factor you need the third party the party and that looks on
and holds and contains the affects, the conflicts of the unconscious of the art piece and the
artist inside of them and the artist becoming a container with the therapist and both of them
developing a bigger container so that images toxicity, affects, ideas
are held inside you where you are holding for the person what goes on that means that the therapist must be able to learn how to play
with his patient now I’m not saying to you that “play” means having fun play means imaginative meetings
of two minds in this imagining meeting of two minds there is a sense of unity or oneness and separateness
as two people with their mutual rhythms create joint space which I mentioned yesterday is what is commonly called “therapeutic workspace” now what happens in most treatments most treatment can not have
a therapeutic workspace they bring to you the problem with the work therapeutic workspace has been injured has been restricted and the problem with treatment
is how to rediscover the alikeness of what Winnicott calls
“primary creativity” where there is some kind of object
that becomes an extension of the mother-child
relationship and this object the blanket a special toy which has all kinds of magic in it it’s the developing of that
special space that holds the relationship if that relationship that goes on between
mother and child and father and child has being impaired the ability to create this
transitional space and this transitional space is dynamic it moves from one to separate and some mothers
for instance who were not resonant with that child the mother comes in too much the child feels suffocated child moves away it was
a lack of resonance there are some mothers who pick up their child and childishly assume they stopped crying and noticed the same child, one second later,
the child cried there is something that goes on in this
nonverbal context where there is a creation of oneness where the mother picks up
the rhythm of the child goes with it, gives the child space
and yet is one with the child until there is a development
of the space in-between the development of the space in-between and is what I call “therapy happening” and when that space occurs two people are present and if you wanted this fine treatment
in another way it’s two people trying to become
present the therapist and the patient and the problems of two people finding, losing and regaining that
presence with one another is the meat about what therapy is about and that process goes on when you are working with your material when you’re an art therapist
when you’re a psychoanalyst that issue of being present regaining presence, losing it,
rediscovering it that’s what treatment is about be it an art therapist, be it a drama therapist be it an psychoanalyst they may use different formats they may use a different way
of creating this format but indeed that ability to do that play of rhythm with whoever you are and finding and holding of what I call “disrythmea”
of the patient because what they will create with you
your patient is indeed the very kinds of problems of rhythm
that they had with their primary object and recreated with you

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