Art, Play, Creativity and Intimate Experiences:

Can the Player who played the Black Swan Play?

Workshop by: Albert J. Brok, PhD

Time: Sunday March 25, 2012; 10am-1:30pm

Place: 285 West End Ave 8N-E; NYC 10023

Fee: $40 (practitioners); $20 (students).

                                    RSVP is required! Call 646-522-0387 or write to

Creativity is indeed a complex capacity.  I will share for your critique some thoughts about the birth of the creative process in potential space, its subsequent development, it differentiation from "madness” and its importance for the capacity to play, the capacity for improvisation, the capacity to love and the internalization of metaphor all as a way of being salubriously involved in the creation of an artistic process whether it be ballet in the dance world or the "ballet of life." To elucidate this, I will use some brief film clips from the recent Academy Award nominated film "The Black Swan" to illustrate both the potential for such capacities and what happens when they are not available to the artistic protagonist: in this case "Nina", played by Natalie Portman in the Black Swan.  In the process, we will also briefly discuss Nina's idealized/jealous relation with Thomas, her attempt to free herself in the only way she could from an internalized anti-creative, anti-playful, and sublimely envious mother and the role played by the implied absence of an equilibrating father.

Creativity and artistic processes can be trumped by Oedipal and pre-oedipal concerns and conflicts inhibiting the capacity to play. Such a situation results in the concretization of an ego ideal rather than accruing help from "agency of the ideal".  The relation to sublimation in artistic production, and in life, will also be discussed.  In sum, elaborating my own (Albert Brok ) point of view and drawing from Winnicott,  Freud, Klein and others  l will propose that internalization of Play as an "available state"  in potential space, influences the form and substance of subsequent relationship styles  and is an important precursor for a creative process that is not concretized and a necessary component for the capacity of metaphoric involvement.

Through the film clips of the Black Swan and discussion, we will see how the metaphoric capacity necessary for a good actor to act, a good ballet dancer to dance, and any person to live life as creative art (where possible), elucidates our fundamental lived  human experience.  Finally, I will share some thoughts on how a sense of art for the both analyst and patient is a crucial factor for any profound psychoanalytic process, as well as how a profound psychoanalytic process can help the creation of creativity and the art of play to evolve.  Much of this illuminates the profound value of the aesthetic in human relationships.

Bio - Al Brok, PhD, CGP: Director Group and Couples Training, TIMH, New York; President elect , Section 1, Div. 39 (Psychoanalysis),APA; Executive Board, Div. of Psychoanalysis, NYSPA; Board: Div.39, (Psychoanalysis), APA; Guest Presenter and Cineanalises Group, Argentine Psychoanalytic Assoc.,Buenos Aires; Faculty, Derner Institute, Adelphi Univ.; Visiting Faculty, Kazakhstan Psychoanalytic Assoc., Almaty, Kazakhstan; International Committee, Section (Couples, Family and Psychoanalysis), Div. 39, APA; Training Committee, ORI.

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