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25-28 septembrie 2024 – CRAIOVA, Hotel Ramada

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Asist. Univ. Dr. Cojocaru Adriana – Președinte SNPCAR

Informații şi înregistrări: vezi primul anunț 

Exhibition of an inner world in suffering When words can’t, plastic messages talk about us. The reflections of a psychologist at the exhibition organized by RSCANP at the 2019 Congress

Autor: Lorica Gheorghiu
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SUMMARY The spontaneous plastic productions of the patients with neurological and/or psychiatric pathology amaze us in the original, unique, symbolic way, in which they talk about the disturbance of their functional balance, the pathological changes of their personality and the relations with the world. In the face of these creations, we feel the true dramatic intensity and the only inner suffering of these subjects which they often cannot verbalize. Keywords: neurological and psychiatric disorders, symbolic plastic message, expression and projection of inner suffering

There is a story in the Chinese tradition, that of the eagle and the ant, that take inventory of the objects that lie on a table while the eagle takes inventory in a single wingbeat, the ant must traverse for and wide, or even occupy his entire life along. The eagle represents thinking through symbols. The ant represents the analytical thinking. Most often we approach things like ants, but sometimes we get the chance to be vultures. The spontaneous plastic creation of our patients often carries a symbolic message that makes their essence visible, what is truly theirs, the uniqueness of the experiences of a child with a certain diagnosis and that is beyond the criteria of nosological classification. In drawing, ”the essence”, this unique way of living, feeling the disease, is released, while in the clinical interview it can often be stifled, extinguished, diverted, masked or even lost. The plastic productions of the patients, presented in the exhibition from the RSCANP Congress 2019, tell us about the specific way in which they live the suffering, the alienating relationship with
themselves and with the world. Plastic symbols speak, communicate, when words cannot. Drawing is an instrumental-symbolic function, with a progressive evolution in ontogeny taking into account realism, the ability to represent objective reality. The drawings from MD. Doru Jurchescu’s collection (The red-bag teacher, We at the puppet theater…) give us the image of a certain ontological stage of evolution of the drawing, of the way the child perceives the world and plays it in his drawings, a world of visual realism (G. Luquet), which contains what is visible from a particular perspective. The plastic productions of the patients from the collection Dr. Constantin Lupu, Prof. MD. PhD. Laura Nussbaum and MD. PhD. Liliana Nussbaum, with neurological and / or psychiatric disorders are relevant for what means the predominant, never exclusive affect of the expression and / or projection in the creative process. The digital paintings of the patient with sd. Laurence Moon (Sorcova) and of the one with cerebellar syndrome Friedrich (Self-portrait) give us the image of a visible impairment of the graphic expression but they also send us a projective message, how they live their neurological suffering (mostly through the blood color palette and black) and in the self-portrait the way he feels the relationship with the world, his body looking for balance in a world that parasitizes it, attacks it with where it unbalances it. Fortunately, after a long therapeutic marathon, in his creations, a bright sun rises and the trees brighten ( Landscape with sunrise). The plastic productions of the patients with psychiatric pathology, speak in an original and unique language about the pathological transformations of their personality, the relations between the subject and the world, as they appear in the works exhibited in the collection of Prof. MD. PhD. Laura Nussbaum, MD. PhD. Liliana Nussbaum and MD. PhD. Constantin Lupu. Of course the analysis of these spontaneous, free plastic productions should be completed with the clinical observation and, if it is possible, with a dialogue with the patient regarding the plastic message. The most frequently aspects revealed in these free creations, as mentioned by MD. Constantin Enăchescu, a great name in the world literature are: complex ideoaffective states, affective frustrations, morbid dreams, hallucinations, delusional ideas, reality break and closure pathological itself, discordance, weirdness, thymic variations, intellectual immaturity, etc. „Drawing, as a possibility of communication can often overcome the oral language, it helps to communicate,to express psychic contents that the patient does not know consciously, or cannot verbalize them.” [1]. Plastic creations are born of the need to release the conflicting or morbid intrapsychic tension that is beyond the control of the conscious critic. Two recent works have been exhibited, of a patient with dissociative disorder, the victim of virtual sexual abuse, whose first creations I presented at the RSCANP congress, Predeal, in 2018. Blooded portrait and Liberation, works performed at different times of therapy, are significant for the disturbance of its functional balance following the abuse situation and its evolution in clinical plan. The girl with blue hair, covering a bleeding eye, reveals a moment from the treatment of psychotrauma. I hide myself, I disguise myself (and it was indeed a time when I dyed my hair in strident green / blue, displaying detachment from
the traumatic situation), but I cannot escape the guilt of sin (the blood that covers the eye, the mouth, the body). In the Liberation, the traumatic situation is accepted and expelled, through a strong expiration, between the trees as black walls of depression. Through the thematic, the compositional structure and especially the color palette, some of the exhibited works convey a vibrant message of the emotional experiences, of the thymic deposition, reaction to events in the personal and social life. (Class VII, Anxiety Phobic Disorder, 2019, Caracal, Forest and Bone Pit; Sadness after Struggle). The patient’s creations (17 years old, Schizotypal disorder. Depressive episode), with special plastic skills, bring the message of a qualitatively different inner world and the gradual disruption of its relation to the outer world. If in the Queen Mary, a dignified and determined female figure goes forward with rebellion, but also endurance among the bloody ghosts of human suffering, wearing the blue flag of hope, in Woman with Horns, the posture of the female figure can be a sign of abdication in the struggle with the world, but the horns are the symbol of an interior attitude that is still confronting, in order to defend this world in which it has withdrawn, of the black rumination that assaults it and which it leaves prey to the Woman by meditating. Withdrawal, the loss of relationship appetite and joy of life (the rose), the tendency of isolation are more and more evident in Woman with rose. Human silhouettes lose their true contour, dissolve, crumble behind it. In the Hands, we assist to an analysis of the watermark structure, of the hands, with the fingers symbolically linked, to render the incapacity, the refusal to take on the offer of a world from which it was removed … and in the Self-portrait we see a sad figure, with the right eye empty, totally devitalized, while the left eye is bent only to itself. The dreadful pain of the loss the joy of living, appears symbolically in the bleeding and incarcerated lungs, lungs that can no longer breathe and participate in the rhythm of the vital vibrations of the world and, in Black Thoughts at night, we assist to the plastic representation of the invading depression, a deformed black ghost that completely absorbs it. Creations from the psychotic register, neomorphic creations are symbolic messages of the pathological transformation of thought, communicating a unique and unusual way in which it feels its relation to itself and to the world. The patients drawings (16 years, schizophrenia debut) have a morbid, bizarre look and are significant for the pathological transformation of the personality. The strange nature of these creations is related to delusional experiences and hallucinatory representations. Blockage and Barrage symbolically portray the feeling of inability to express the dramatic morbid change in thinking. The amalgam of hallucinations imprisoned in his head forces the graces imposed by the present conscious control, creating an unbearable pressure that cannot be verbalized. Shouting and Bandage are a plastic message of pain, of suffering due to the morbid pressure (hallucinations, delusional ideas) in his head, which is not allowed to emerge from a hand still present of the critical Suprae, but which, once expelled, leaves behind an aged face, drained into a black depression net. In Devitalization we have the dramatic image of the one who painfully looks at his own body from which life flows, blood rushes from the cut arteries and veins, and any possibility of relationship with himself and the world is lost.
At a first approach to the exhibited works, he draws attention and quickly impresses the creations of MD. PhD. Lupu’s collection, of A. with autistic personality disorder, tenant of the Hospital of Neuropsyquiatry in Gojvojdia, coming from a couple of adolescents, left by parents and although in the primary cycle he had multiple repetitions at the special school of the hospital, he has exhibitions in Germany, Denmark, France, Switzerland. The formal aspect is completely lost, it becomes incomprehensible. It is a beautiful, picturesque flow of colors, waves, vibrations. It is another way of perceiving reality, perhaps of another plane, not material but energetic, subtle, fluid, invisible to us, but which impresses and attracts us precisely because it appeals to that subtle dimension of our being in which materiality disappears. It opens the door to that vibrational world that unites us and we can communicate without words. „The discovery of the secret structure of atoms, X-rays, radioactivity, unexplained by classical physics, confronted scientists with an unexpected reality, which decomposed them. Their problems were not only intellectually, but they also involved intense emotional and existential experience.” [2]. This is I believe the offer of A.’s creations, an intense emotional and existential experience.

1. Enachescu C-tin, The Plastic Expression of Personality, Scientific Ed., 1975, p.140
2. Capra, The Time of Changes, quoted by Dr. Janine Fontaine in The Three Bodies, the Three Worlds, Lotus Ed., 1995, p. 227