Conference »Gender Topologies«, Lecture by Samo Tomšič

Samo Tomšič The Body in Borromean Psychoanalysis

At the peak of structuralism, Lacan’s theoretical and clinical development underwent another significant turn, which resulted from his engagement with knot-theory. Due to his obsession with the Borromean knot, this strange, and at times opaque phase of Lacan’s teaching was often met with skepticism. Still, the knot is supposed to initiate a new orientation in thinking, a material »transcendental aesthetics« (Kant), which accounts for all those paradoxes of human subjectivity that Freud discovered in the sexual field.

The talk focuses on those aspects of Lacan’s topological excurses, which, rather than attempting to overcome »theory« or »philosophy«, deliver new materialist foundations for its praxis, and more specifically, a philosophy of the body, which takes into account the deadlocks of sexuality. These are brought to the point in Lacan’s notorious ›axiom‹: »There is no sexual relation« (il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel).      

Gender Topologies. Ästhetiken und Politiken der Nicht-Orientierbarkeit
Konferenz, 31. Mai bis 2. Juni 2023