EXTIMACY

Shawki Youssef

July 14, 2021

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October 9, 2021

The artist, some what showing tribute to abstract expressionism in his oeuvre while at the same time deconstructing, mentally re-collaging and depicting a newly arranged concrete, takes us into a universe of the fragile relationship between intimate insight and untaintedly “raw”, as also in “pure”, perception of the exterior. The friction in his work between the inside self and the outside other is tangible, electrifying, erotic, terrifying and disturbing. This universe may explode at any given moment and sometimes it does. If not framed, Shawki Youssef’s art work will stretch endlessly into the space where it is placed and into the mind and soul of the observer.

Jacques-Marie Lacan, the French psychoanalyst who shaped the term “extimacy” (“extimité” in its original French term),challenges the traditional distinction between the inside, intimate self and the outer other. Lacan rather seeks the identity between the other, being something strange to the intimate self, while at the same time being at the heart of the subject. The unconscious is not simply an inner psychic system but a relationship with the outer other, creating an intersubjective network.

“It is tiring being me” comments Shawki Youssef.It is tiring to consciously work with this tension and turning it inside-out.

“Object is presence, appearance and energy”. Its wild, archaic, tender, fragile but also violent and fearful nature can be held together and contained by forces of Love. Love in a very concrete sense, but also “Love” in a universal sense, as a spiritual foundation and a humanistic approach to what there is.  “Yes it is Love, yes she is ‘the object of Love’ with all that love brings“. Shawki Youssef sums it up like this: “It is a conscious decision to be nice (human). I have decided to be nice”.