On Thursday February 12, 2009 Marcus Coelen, literary scholar and psychoanalyst presents the lecture ‘The Outside Sculpture / Monstrosity and Transgression from Blanchot to Bernini’. The lecture takes place within the framework of the thematic project ‘The Monstrous at Play’ held at WdKA’s Piet Zwart Institute by Felix Ensslin.

Besides being a famous masterpiece of baroque art and the transformation into stone of mystical ecstasy, Bernini's Roman sculpture of Saint Theresa is a material commentary on what ‘transgression’ might mean in artistic production. The talk will start by exposing how French writers of the post-war period understood the writings of the Marquis de Sade and the notion of transgression linked to it, focussing on the logic of “generalized monstrosity” (Klossowski) and the “thought of the outside” (Blanchot/Foucault). Seen from this perspective, Bernini's work, the spatial arrangement of his sculpture, his treatment of literary sources and the exposition of its materiality can be understood as a ‘Sadian’ moment.

Marcus Coelen teaches literature and literary theory at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich/Germany, and works as a psychoanalyst. His research focusses on modern French thought and the intersection of literature, philosophy and psychoanalysis. He has translated and commented on several volumes of texts by Maurice Blanchot. Together with Felix Ensslin, he is the editor of ‘subjektile’, a collection devoted to theory at Diaphanes-Verlag, Berlin. Publications include: Die Tyrannei des Partikularen. Lektüren Proust (Munich, Fink, 2007) and (ed.) Die andere Urszene. Texte von Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Maurice Blanchot et al. (Berlin, Diaphanes, 2008).

‘The Outside Sculpture – Monstrosity and Transgression from Blanchot to Bernini’; lecture by Marcus Coelen. Thursday February 12, 2009. Piet Zwart Institute, Mauritsstraat 36, 3012 CJ Rotterdam/NL. Programme starts at 19.30 hrs. Admission: free.NOTE: April 1, 2009 is the next application deadline for the MA Fine Art programme at WdKA’s Piet Zwart Institute; more information can be found here.