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ARAS Connections
Image and Archetype
• 2010 • Issue 2 •
In This Issue

Welcome by Tom Singer

Following Seeker: Landscape, Music, Myth and Transformation by Deborah O'Grady

The Mirror of Art: Reflections on Transference and the Gaze of the Picture by Joy Schaverien

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As we have all become aware in the past decade, digitization and the Internet have revolutionized the way in which we communicate and transmit information, especially information in a visual form. The opportunities for creative projects related to symbolic imagery are enormous and ARAS Online wants to realize its potential to present this kind of material to a growing audience. A new "architecture" of ARAS Online envisions a series of "spaces" that will present special topics and projects. Our goal is to continue to make ARAS a useful instrument for the study of archetypal material from all ages and cultures, including increasing our focus on symbolic imagery relevant to contemporary concerns of the individual and society.
The capacity for cross-cultural perspectives is exponentially increased with worldwide internet access and we want to tap into that potential by beginning to explore ways of encouraging our users to contribute material to ARAS Online. We will be announcing new projects in the near future that ask you - our audience - to contribute material in specified formats. And "cross cultural" not only refers to bringing material from different parts of the world into dialogue with one another but also from different intellectual and psychological perspectives and traditions.
Our featured articles in this edition illustrate these new directions. Deborah O'Grady's stunning paper introduces a brand new way of presenting material on ARAS Connections in that it combines the traditional form of a written article with videos interspersed. Because this format may be new to many, there is a brief primer on how to "read" the article at its beginning. And Joy Schevarian's paper takes the study of symbolic imagery into the inner world of individuals, who use art as a way to give expression to their psyches. Of course, the tradition of art therapy is steeped in the use of symbolic imagery as a way of communication and this will be the first of many articles from this tradition.
Tom Singer, M.D.
Co-Chair of ARAS Online for National ARAS

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Following Seeker: Landscape, Music, Myth and Transformation
by Deborah O'Grady

An image from Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio.

Editorial note: The following article by the photographer and artist Deborah O'Grady describes her personal and actual journey in search of imagery to accompany the oratorio, Enemy Slayer. This is a new experiment for ARAS Connections and perhaps a new experience for you as well. It mixes written text with videos of image and sound. You are invited to move back and forth from one to the other as they move through the "text".
While watching the video portion, be sure to press the button that allows the image to fill the entire screen.
Make sure to increase the volume on your computer so that the sound of the oratorio expands with your vision.
Return to the text after each of the videos by hitting Esc to exit full screen mode and then the Back button. The sequencing of word and image is clearly indicated in the text. Enjoy!

An excerpt from Following Seeker: Landscape, Music, Myth and Transformation, by Deborah O'Grady:
This is the story of the creation of an oratorio, a European musical form that most often depicts religious subjects. In 2006, I was asked to join a team that would create a new kind of oratorio drawn from an indigenous American myth rather than a traditional biblical source.
Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio tells a contemporary story with an archetypal root. Created for the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra's 60th Anniversary Season, the work's conceptual source lies within the Navajo sacred tradition, telling the story of Seeker, a young Iraq war veteran returning to his home on the reservation. Welcomed as a hero, Seeker soon finds himself losing grip, when the traumas of his wartime experience return to haunt him. As his thoughts turn to despair and suicide, the voices of the elders intervene, urging him to return to the Pollen Path, to the way of hozho, beauty and harmony.
The libretto is by Dr. Laura Tohe, Diné poet and professor of English at Arizona State University. The musical score is by Mark Grey, a California composer. In creating the story line for Enemy Slayer, Laura and Mark consulted frequently with a group of Diné elders in order to ensure that the story we told would not offend the gods or the people in any way. Our task was to very consciously create a bridge between the Diné and Anglo cultures of Arizona and beyond, in a work that would appeal to a broad multi-cultural audience.
Read the entire paper.
The Mirror of Art: Reflections on Transference and the Gaze of the Picture
An excerpt from The Mirror of Art: Reflections on Transference and the Gaze of the Picture by Joy Schaverien

The Hero

Cognition, language, myth and art: none of them is a mere mirror simply reflecting images of inward or outward data; they are not indifferent media, but rather true sources of light, the prerequisite of vision, and the well-springs of all formation. (Cassirer 1955a, p. 93)
This presentation (given at the Art and Psyche conference in San Francisco, 2008) is about art and its formative nature. To be clear about the title, I am not suggesting that art is a mirror in the sense of a cold or flat reflection. Rather, within analysis, art reveals and so reflects the multi-layered contents of the psyche and presents them for the gaze. It is the irreducible, non-discursive role of pictures that is psychologically transformative and so, within analysis, art offers a very particular means of mediation. The making of art may lead to confrontation with shadow elements of the unconscious, revealing mythical or archetypal images as well as their underlying psychological states. Thus Contemporary Developmental and Classical Jungian approaches to understanding individuation converge in "the field of vision."
Read the entire paper.

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One book you can get at Amazon is our collection of archetypal images about the body:
An Encyclopedia of Archetypal Symbolism: The Body
"Images of the body reveal how our unconscious inhabits the world. This book unveils the many forms of the sacredness of the cultural body that we already are. A profound experience of our global selves!" - Marion Woodman, author of Addiction to Perfection.

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