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In some feminist theory hysteria is seen as a ruse category that serves to exclude women as subjects from the very discourses that they help to constitute as objects. Classical psychoanalysis is one example of this discursive foundation-as-exclusion; traditional art (history) is another. The surrealist association of hysteria and art might function in a similar way: precisely because it is celebrated, the feminine, the female body, remains the silenced ground of this art. However, this association departs from traditional aesthetics (if it does not improve on it): the female body is not the sublimated image of the beautiful but the desublimated site of the sublime - ie., the hysterical body inscribed with signs of sexuality and marks of death. Moreover, the surrealists not only desired this image, this figure; they also identified with it. And this identification should not be dismissed too quickly as an appropriation. In a simple sense they wanted to be hysterics, to be by turns passive and convulsive, disponible and ecstatic. In a more difficult sense they were hysterics, confused about sexual identity. Out of this condition some surrealists were able to develop a subversive association between trauma and artistic representation - an association only suggested in Freud (and ambivalently too).