The films of David Lynch are sometimes said to be unintelligible. They confront us with strange dreamscapes populated with bizarre characters, obscure symbols and an infuriating lack of narrative consistency. Yet despite their opacity, they hold us transfixed.
Lynch, who once told an interviewer “I love dream logic,” would surely agree with Sigmund Freud’s famous claim that “before the problem of the creative artist, psychoanalysis must lay down its arms.” But what else do the two agree on?
Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain takes as its point of departure that Lynch’s work is not so much unintelligible as ‘uncanny,’ revealing what Todd McGowan has termed “the bizarre nature of normality” – and the everydayness of what we take to be strange.
This conference invites psychoanalysts, scholars and cinephiles to reflect on these Lynchian enigmas. What do we mean by ‘Lynchian’? Beyond the apparent incoherence of his films, are there hidden logics at play? Are Lynch and Freud in alignment? And what light can psychoanalysis shed on the Lynchian uncanny?