Psychoanalysis Hits the Streets: A letter to the New York Times

Re: Well-Behaved Street-Corner Sculpture
7.24.09

As a psychoanalyst committed to taking psychoanalytic ideas out into the world, especially to address social issues, I loved your article about outdoor sculpture that included Franz West’s “The Ego and the Id.” The piece is on the street and interactive—viewers, especially children, can sit at its base. With bright colors and twenty foot loops, it is lively, alive and connected to the community around it. The caricature of the analyst sitting back and disconnected from his couch bound patient or the world, is as old as outdoor sculpture only about heroes, as the article describes. And where does Mr. West, the artist, live, “love and work?” In Vienna, of course, where another fairly well known artist of the mind once lived and worked around the turn of the century.

Mark D. Smaller, Ph.D; Chairman, Committee on Social Issues, American Psychoanalytic Association

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