The Aha Experience!

1988 | 00:05:00 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Family, LGBTQ, Psychoanalysis, Sexuality

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The “a-ha experience” is the moment when a child first recognizes its own image in a mirror; it is critical to the development of intelligence and identity. It is also the moment when the “self” is surrendered to the control of an external influence. The child accepts the power of the mother to confer or withhold love; it is the mother’s power to fulfill desire that shapes a child’s sense of identity. Similarly, a camera controls love by directing or not directing its attention to the desiring subject.

The narration in this fascinating video describes a scene in which a young woman, on the brink of sexual awakening, is shocked by the presence of her mother in her bed. This image haunts her, and the imagined presence of the mother’s body provides the backdrop for all further sexual encounters, and all desire is subsequently understood as a derivative of this experience. It is the mother’s desire (her presence in the bed) that directs and controls the scene of passion—she is the ultimate subject whose love confers sexual and psychic identity.