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SCIENTIFIC MEETING – THE OBJECT: An Artist and a Psychoanalyst in Conversation

SCIENTIFIC MEETING - THE OBJECT: An Artist and a Psychoanalyst in Conversation

Presenter: David Dorenbaum, MD

Discussant: Therese Bolliger

Wednesday, March 23, 2022: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

TPS Scientific Meeting: Open to All

** Preregistration is required ** DISTANCE PARTICIPATION ONLY ** – This course will be conducted online. Email to rsvp. Registration deadline is one week prior to the meeting.

The concept of the object in psychoanalysis is by no means univocal. From the outset, psychoanalysis has been in search of its object. Not only the object that prompts the subject to try to reclaim what was lost, but also the epistemological object capable of fulfilling psychoanalysis’ scientific aspirations— even though, as Jacques Lacan points out, psychoanalysis is a praxis rather than a science, these aspirations have remained present in the field since Freud. The intention of this presentation is to provide a sketch, undoubtedly partial, of Lacan’s original contribution to the concept of the object in psychoanalysis. According to him, it is through the object that a subject emerges as such. The singularity of this object eludes any definition, although present by nomination. It is bound to remain an absent object, a lack.

This presentation will be joined by Toronto artist Therese Bolliger, who will introduce the development of her recent project “Thingness in Doubt”.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this presentation participants will be able to:

  1. Provide an outline of Lacan’s concept of the object in psychoanalysis.
  2. Explore the psychic function of the object and of object transformation linked to psychoanalytic practice.
  3. Elaborate on the question of whether there is a recognizable aesthetic theory in psychoanalysis that could help us clarify the systematic approach to the object from an artist’s perspective.
David Dorenbaum, MD

David Dorenbaum, MD is a psychoanalyst in private practice, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, a member of the International Psychoanalytic Association and the Lacan Clinical Forum at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. His essays appear in various publications that have resulted from collaborations with artists and museums. He is a regular contributor to the newspaper El País.

Therese Bolliger

Therese Bolliger is a Swiss-Canadian Artist. She held teaching positions in the Visual Arts Department of the University of Guelph, OCAD University Toronto and was a faculty member in the Art and Art History Program, a collaborative Program between Sheridan (Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning) and the University of Toronto at Mississauga. She has shown her work throughout Canada and internationally.

This event is eligible for Section 1 CME credits (0.5 credits/hour). This event is an accredited group learning activity (section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certificate Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, approved by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). The specific opinions and content of this event are not necessarily those of the CPA, and are the responsibility of the organizer(s) alone. As per the Royal College standard, each presentation provides a minimum of 25% interactive learning.

For more information about and for registration in the tps&i Extension Programs, Scientific Meetings, Training Programs, Study and Supervision groups and Special Presentations, please visit our website: or email

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