DATE: Thursday, January 24, 2013
TIME: 2:00 p.m
PLACE: South Hall, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Dennis W. Carroll
DISSERTATION TITLE: "Picasso’s Modern Nekyia: Confrontation with the Unconscious, 1900-1907"
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-E; 2004
CHAIR: Dr. Evans Lansing Smith
READER: Dr. Dana White
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Nixson Borah
Carroll, D.(2012). Picasso’s Modern Nekyia: Confrontation with the Unconscious, 1900-1907 (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012)
In October of 1900, nineteen–year-old Pablo Picasso arrived in Paris with his friend Carles Casagemas. Picasso intended to take the Parisian art world by storm. Within months, Casagemas lay dead by his own hand over an unrequited love affair. Picasso had begun his descent into the abyss.
The hypothesis of this dissertation is that Picasso’s artistic odyssey is a Nekyia, an “awakening of the memories in the blood,” that connects the sacred underworld journey of myth to modern depth psychology’s confrontation with the unconscious.
This dissertation examines Picasso’s life, loves, and art between 1900 and 1907. Parallels are drawn between Picasso’s journey and The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Egyptian Amduat, Homer’s Odyssey, Apuleius’ Amor and Psyche, and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Further parallels are made with the lives and works of Sigmund Freud, C.G. Jung, and James Hillman, including Jung’s The Red Book (Liber Novus).
Picasso’s Nekyia concludes with his 1907 painting, Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon, often referred to as the cornerstone of modern art. Les Demoiselles is interpreted as symbolizing the personal rebirth of the goddess-image in Picasso’s soul and the collective redemption of the Goddess Gaia, the soul of the world. Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria.