In Freudian terms ‘Art’ is always the symptom for repressed pain. What cannot be explained in reason can be symbolized or contained in a vernacular and new forms of language, shapes, symbols, letters, spaces, Argotic constructions, glossolalias, mandalas and Asemic writings. The Outsider artist is productive, illuminating and at the same time often unmanageable. However, these traits are not unique to the Outsider artist. Indeed, it is now considered that a borderline neurological disorder can create a disposition to produce any kind of art. Moreover, this could be a good thing for humanity in an ever-growing hostile world. [iii] There have been peaceful societies in ancient history based purely on poetry and art.[iv] If music can help placate unresolved anger and violence in modern cities and train stations then Outsider art might have a special place in bringing about kindness and compassion. [v]
Outsider Art is a bold admission of Abjection manifest in compulsion, repetition, obsession and the blatant dismissal of authority, usually characterized by the super-ego. This means mythology in the strictest sense of the word, need not be attributed to supernatural beings, but to the specific acts of the super-ego, for example, man as superman, superwoman, god or goddess, otherwise the disappearance of the physical, material body and transcendence, sometimes loosely referred to as a psychosis; or the disappearing/dead body.
The idea that the body with its internal god is dead has been attributed to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who coincidently died himself in a mental Asylum. The term ‘god is dead’ first appears in 1882 in The Gay Science [German: Die fröhliche Wissenschaft], in sections 108 [New Struggles], 125 [The Madman], and for a third time in section 343 [The Meaning of our Cheerfulness]. It is also found in Nietzsche’s 1883 famous work Thus Spoke Zarathustra [German: Also Sprach Zarathustra], which is the work that made the statement most popular. The idea is stated in ‘The Madman’ as follows:
God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? [vi]