Friday, April 3, 2009

Official Graffiti - the Word

When I spotted this colourful paint on the pavement in Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge, I thought it must be to do with the large number of roadworks currently taking place. However this is a sign from the Electricity Supply Board and surely must be an instruction about a future dig! In this case, the symbolism of letters is not very productive - that's all a bit vague and usually resolves back to numbers - the number of letters in the alphabet for example. Since this graffiti refers to a state agency (semi at least) which has some authority, I thought it should be treated as a word. Logos means not just the word, but reason, intellect, thought and ideas. Jung felt that this was the paternal principle "eternally struggling to extricate itself from the primal warmth and darkness of the womb" - from unconsciousness in other words. The word is a pure symbol of the individual - the individual who communicates with another. The French psychoanalyst, Lacan, agrees. In Lacan's view, the only desire of the analyst could be that his client (the other) would communicate with him - in words. So the other's communication would lead to development rather than the analysts wish for the other to "get better". And perhaps the photograph suggests that future digging below ground is a metaphor for the delving into the unconscious.