|Mildred Harris Program 2020
Naming the Gods: Cy Twombly’s Passionate Poiesis
with Gary D. Astrachan
(Lecture) Friday, October 9, 2020; 7 to 9 pm
FREE for Members and Non-Members
(Workshop) Saturday, October 10, 2020; 10 am to 2 pm
Members $30 | Non-Members $40
Both events will be held online via Zoom
The gods have fled. They have disappeared and left us alone, without directions or guides. What is it to attempt to name the gods back into existence, into our lives and into the world? How do we, through the efforts of poiesis, ‘making’, ‘doing’, and ‘pro-ducing’, create a place and space for the gods to return? How do we actively engage the transformative processes of art, alchemy and analysis, to orient and deepen our selves within and without? How do we fully embrace the necessity of attending to the current crisis and catastrophe of a disturbed world order while simultaneously furthering the journey of individuation into deeper realms of soul? Following the thread of Dionysos Lysios, the ‘Loosener’, we shall grapple together with responding to these queries.
In this workshop we will focus on the contemporary artwork of Cy Twombly as seen against the deep background of classical Greek mythology. In particular, the two entwined figures of Orpheus, lyre player, lover and journeyer to the underworld, and Dionysos/Bacchus, god of wine, ecstasy and madness, will be taken up as the two principal thematic leitmotifs which animate and overarchingly inform Twombly’s entire artistic oeuvre across all the mediums in which he worked, both literally and symbolically, from the early 1950’s until the last series of brilliantly colored paintings he made just before his death in 2011. His corpus of work embodies and performs radically innovative and vitally important modes of practice for our own necessity in establishing spaces for reciprocal and intimate relationships with psyche and matter, and with both the inner and the outer worlds, of ‘otherness’, nature, wilderness, and the wild.
Gary D. Astrachan, PhD, IAAP, is a clinical psychologist and Jungian psychoanalyst in private practice in Portland, Maine. He is a faculty member and supervising and training analyst at the C. G. Jung Institutes in Boston and in Switzerland and lectures and teaches widely throughout North America, Latin America and Europe. He is a founding member of the Maine Jung Center, and is also an independent curator of contemporary art installations and exhibitions. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles in professional journals and books and writes particularly on the relationship between analytical psychology and Greek mythology, poetry, painting, film, post-modernism, and critical theory. His new book, Naming the Gods: Cy Twombly’s Passionate Poiesis, was released by Chiron Publications in 2019.