Diaphanous fellow, marked by time, screening what I know so well. Heavy head, overhead, spare and barely touching as we pass. I can see your seams and your seams see me. I could also hear you, what were you thinking? I was thinking about touching you, but your guard was nearby. I used to know every corner, and now bathed in orange light, I can’t recognise you at all. Always humming you, a reminder that you are not empty, or closed. But perhaps you are closed to me.
I was in my early twenties…and at the time, of course, being a young intellectual, I wanted desperately to get away, see something different, throw myself into something practical….One day, I was on a small boat with a few people from a family of fishermen….as we were waiting for the moment to pull in the nets, an individual known as Petit-Jean…pointed out to me something floating on the surface of the waves. It was a small can, a sardine can…It glittered in the sun. And Petit-Jean said to me – You see that can? Do you see it? Well it doesn’t see you.
(Lacan 1981,The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, Jacques-Alain Miller (ed), Alan Sheridan (trans), New York: Norton)
Kate Newby, Always humming, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 17 July – 29 August 2015.