…what it might be like to admit such speculations into the discourse of art history itself…

Excerpt from Between You and Me: Queer Disclosures in the New York Art World, 1948– 1963 by Gavin Butt, Duke University Press, 2005.

“As Jacques Derrida has already argued in his 1995 book Archive Fever, psychoanalysis has necessarily engendered a different way of thinking about what it might mean to undertake archival work, especially insofar as it addresses itself to those unconscious phenomena which, by dint of their nature, do not become manifest as such in the conscious, public world of human utterance and discourse. “Freud’s intention,” Derrida writes, was “to analyze, across the apparent absence of memory and of archive, all kinds of symptoms, signs, figures, metaphors, and metonymies that attest, at least virtually, an archival documentation where the ‘ordinary historian’ identifies none”. Thus, psychoanalysis, in reading the apparent absences within the archival record as significant — as symptomatic of some repression, as pregnant with psychodynamic meaning — has provided us with an interpretative legacy which can no longer remain satisfied with the horizon of meanings recuperable through a conventional attention to the archival record: of books, papers, images, and other avowedly important documents.” –p.17

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Claude Cahun (Lucy Schwob) and Marcel Moore (Suzanne Malherbe), Entre nous (Between Us), 1926 (SFMOMA)

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