Luca Caldironi is an Italian licensed MD and clinical psychiatrist. He is a member of the Italian Society of Psychoanalysis (SPI), and also holds memberships in APsaA, CIPS and in the IPA. He is a professor at the Martha Harris School of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in Bologna, Italy and a lecturer at the Padova University, Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology (FISPPA). Caldironi’s numerous publications and presentations reflect an emphasis on Bionian thought, especially around the concept of "creativity", which he also incorporates as director of the Venetian art exhibition space Castello925 (www.castello925.com). He has a private practice in both Modena and Venice.
Over time as Caldironi straddled the intersection of the arts and psychoanalysis, he increasingly felt the need to use his knowledge, gained through his clinical work, in other fields. From this need he birthed a new concept called “K-Now-L-Edge” - the study of creativity and its connection between art and psychoanalysis. K-Now-L-Edge is written this way to express certain elements of knowledge - 'K' is “to know” - in the “here and now” ('Now') vitalized by passion ('L') leading us to proceed always on the ('Edge') of speech.
More than simply the sum of the fields art and psychoanalysis, the ambitious purpose of “K-Now-L-Edge” is to give life to a creative space and international movement to realize this possibility.
Caldironi is now start working abroad as "Individual and Groups Professional Consultant in the Emotional Development" (trough art and psychodynamic approaches). He leads group and/or individual consultations offer a reflective space to expand creativity and inner exploration. Participants are invited to connect with selected evocative images and share their internal resonances. As W. Bion maintains, emotional contact enhances the birth of proto-emotions and proto-sensations, which, through a process of transformation, gives rise to thought. In our group we want to offer an experience of individual and group process that combines the imaginative skills of the mind with the ability to build meanings with respect to the reality that surrounds us. The group is led to a meditative relaxed state. Then, everyone is invited to free associate on the images offered (video, paintings, photographs, and other media). The experiences of each participant can emerge and become part of the group process. This group is open people in the helping profession and to anyone seeking better contact with their internal experiences and with other people.
This group work facilitates a wider access to fantasies, iconographies, and associative and creative thinking. It allows participants and the group as a whole to understand, transform and rework the images into shared symbolic and mythical elements. This process not only stimulates curiosity and activates emotions, but also helps to face and unlock internal conflicts, encouraging more creative and collaborative relational situations in life.
The groups will be held on a monthly basis lasting two hours. There are plans to expand the number of participants on occasions in which the moderators of the group decide to plan visits to artistic or museum spaces (art fairs as well). Part of the fee will be allocated to fundraising for an initiative to promote artistic workshops in which young artists will work with children in order to encourage dialogue between generations and different cultures through the art.
This movement continuously evolves and progresses involving the senses, reason and intuition. Forming 'ties' and 'associative networks' between our historical roots in Venice (www.castello925.com) and the evolving spaces in NY.
Psyche and Art: a ‘passion’ looking forward
"Healing means daring to step outside one’s fence"
Often, we can find our truth only in foreign lands, it is never very far, but there is the strange and constant fact that only after a devout journey to a distant region, a foreign country, an unknown land, the meaning of the voice interior that must guide our research can be revealed to us.
When we say that we do not need to go very far, we do not mean implicitly saying that this journey is easy, we mean rather to affirm that the distances we are dealing with are such as to have different characteristics from those geographical. They are territories that cross our minds, our memories, our affections and where our guides are our thoughts.
The driving force is therefore that internal tension generated by the encounter with the ‘O-ther’* that remains inflexible. A territory without a name, as it is "unmentionable", although at the same time characterizing, which makes us "exiles" and citizens at the same time. It is the land of exile that contains the intrinsic promise of a return. This dimension is a characteristic, despite the obvious differences, both of the artistic and the analytical area.
My own work is supported by Bion’s thoughts, particularly his views on 'creativity' and psychoanalysis, which he depicts as a 'cognitive probe’ that constantly widens one’s own observation field. By creative activity, I mean any human activity that through different elements becomes 'art-ifex' (maker) of something new. The creative process is therefore an opening of man in relation to his future, enabling him to change his present. As Bion stated: “I think it may be erroneous to assume that because there is a past that seems to bear a certain resemblance to the present, the present therefore bears a resemblance to the future, which can be described in terms of the past. I can perfectly well see that there may be a crisis of development in which the human being is absolutely terrified by the fact that the future is unknown, cannot be known by himself at the present time, and may only be known to certain people, described in terms of ‘genius’ or ‘mystic’, who have a peculiar relationship with reality.”
[ … and artists as well ... (our note)]
In this sense, art is a veritable cognitive tool, that despite not being aimed at having therapeutic purposes, represents the expression and the revelation, at the same time, of unconscious mechanisms. It is therefore appropriate to combine its usage with the psychoanalytic method, as an attempt to get closer and reveal human beings’ deepest aspects.
We also know how to cut these experiences across multiple languages. We must therefore ask ourselves, how can it treat psychoanalysis and what language can it use? And furthermore, is it appropriate to cross over into the different fields of knowledge and run the risk of fragmentation? We think so and we believe it is more useful and current follow the encouragement given to us on several occasions by Bion to indulge in one's imagination. Do not stop at facts and precipitate evidence, but let yourself go to your own speculations, thoughts, fantasies and probabilities. Doing all this does not mean, in fact, organize colonies of Knowledge, but rather, become available to be colonized by a ‘K-Now-L-E-dge’ that is always in progress, without fixed answers, to participate in a problem that is always open. Be more oriented on the enigma rather than on its solution; leave prevail a state of suspension of belief, expectation, with the consequent development of a constantly open thinking.
These ideas have become a common heritage, both in the various scientific and cultural spheres, and in artistic languages. We are immersed in a flow transmission of knowledge that spans generations, that strength, with his mobility and transmissibility, personal and generational ruptures.
Eugenio Gaddini about a concept of Bion reminds us that "through the concept of 'binocular vision' one comes to argue that" thought necessarily involves the simultaneous consideration of reality from multiple points of view ". (...) "Seeing reality from a multiple point of view allows each vertex (each way of seeing reality) to enter into mutually mutative conversation with other ways of seeing / knowing / experiencing". (...) "Health implies the ability to generate and maintain a multiplicity of perspectives from which to see / experience one's life in the real world (including the reality of one's personality)".
In the analysis room, as well as in the literary or artistic place in general a space becomes indispensable, therefore, in a certain place, within which to privilege the creative moment and where the art of 'here and now', with other words we could say 'the art of the contemporary', with its presence of past, present and future, must become its inhabitant.
The risk involved in this process is that of the fragmentation of a unitary thought, but it is the risk that the psyche is not exempt from running. Indeed, the urgency, now, is precisely in this vital challenge. As in the psychic process, artistic activity implies a work of 'transformation', as happens in the work of dreams, both of sleep and waking, as well as in the moments of mourning, in which one lives and experiences the attempt to transform the inanimate and the formless in possibilities of life and communication.
To transform oneself also means not to stop in front of the manifestation, but to enter it, to experience it.
Through the artistic "rite" the sacrifice is accomplished, with the production of radically new effects compared to those of departure. The gesture, the artistic formula, decline the abandonment of what is "outside", of what "stands before the temple", the so-called in ancient Greek "pro-phaino", giving up its identity domain in order to acquire a new one.
I believe that the relationship with the ‘art of contemporary' (in the meaning we tried to explain above) is fundamental, declined across the board, as a direct precipitate or direct expression, of a diffused, impalpable and at first sight (at first sight indeed), unrecognizable emotional state. Emotional frame of what our mind wants to exclude, deny, project elsewhere to get rid of it.
But this process cannot be avoided, on pain of exacerbating the need that arises in a crescendo of "suffering without a name".
Emotions and paradoxes come into play with their fruitful displacement. The term itself of <fecondo> allows us to glimpse, against the light, the generative component of this vertex, of this openness. Tying the deep emotional dimensions to new richer and unifying possibilities of transformation already exerts a containment-therapeutic function in itself, but this also requires being able to tolerate feelings of not knowing, of confusion and of impotence, supported only by what Bion called "Need of Truth".
We know, also from Gaddini, that "for Bion, the human need to know the truth of one's own experience is the most fundamental stimulus for thought".
It is evident that the statements we are making find their own territory in that ‘movement’*, made by Bion, when it passes, from the symbolic content of thoughts, to the 'process of thinking' seen as a transformational process. This also concerns thinking in images, dreaming, both asleep and awake.
*(our note): ‘move-ment’ with its implicit meaning of ‘mind in motion’.