Scansion in Psychoanalysis and Art examines a strain of artists spanning more than a century, beginning at the dawn of photography and culminating in the discussion of contemporary artists, to illustrate various psychoanalytic concepts by examining artists working in a multitude of media.

Drawing on the theories of Sigmund Freud, who applied psychoanalytic methods to art and literature to decipher the meaning and intention of the creator, as well as Jacques Lacan’s dissemination of scansion as a powerful disruption of narrative, the book explores examples of the long and rich relationship between psychoanalysis and the fine arts. Whilst guiding readers through the different artists and their artforms – from painting and music to poetry, collage, photography, film, performance art, technology and body modification – Sinclair interrogates scansion as a generative process often inherent of the act of creation itself.

This is an intriguing book for psychoanalysts, psychologists and creative arts therapists who wish to explore the generative potential of scansion and the relationship between psychoanalysis and the arts, as well as for artists and art historians interested in a psychoanalytic view of these processes.

chapter |17 pages


part 1|36 pages

Sowing seeds/setting the stage

chapter Chapter 1|16 pages

A cut in time

The advent of photography

chapter Chapter 2|18 pages

Reimagining the frame

The birth of modern art

part II|58 pages

Unleashing the unconscious

chapter Chapter 3|15 pages

The art of noise

chapter Chapter 4|13 pages

Psychoanalysis and Dada

chapter Chapter 5|15 pages

Collage, photomontage and assemblage

chapter Chapter 6|13 pages

Disrupting the expected

Marcel Duchamp

part III|62 pages

Revolution of mind

chapter Chapter 7|18 pages


chapter Chapter 8|14 pages


Cutting the bonds of gender

chapter Chapter 9|14 pages

The cutting edge

Avant-garde and experimental cinema

chapter Chapter 10|14 pages

The cut-up method of the Beats

part IV|47 pages

When art becomes life (and death)

chapter Chapter 11|11 pages

Acting out

Pop, street and performance art

chapter Chapter 12|9 pages

Cut from the collective

Alternative communities

chapter Chapter 14|13 pages

Technology, morbidity, death and the unexpected