Tijdschrift voor filosofie vol:70 issue:2 pages:297-316
This paper explores Deleuze's idea that hysteria is the clinical essence of painting. In Francis Bacon. Logique de la sensation, Deleuze develops the project of a purely esthetic clinic that would be completely independent of psychiatric or psychoanalytic conceptions of psychopathology. How, then, can we make sense of this esthetic-clinical relation between painting and hysteria, and why is the work of Francis Bacon more than any other the revelation of this relation? For Deleuze, Bacon's works show that hysterical symptoms are not expressions of unconscious representations. On the contrary they reveal the pure presence of the body, the body as nerves and meat. In its hysterical convulsions the body tries to escape from itself, but only painting succeeds in this hysterical enterprise.