This highly conceptual and beautiful art work in book form is the result of a unique collaboration between an artist photographer and psychoanalyst writer.


ISBN: 9781908970275 Category:

Josh Cohen


Lament is a beautiful, original and affecting work of art in book form that takes as its subject the themes of light and dark, love and loss, life and death. This extraordinary volume is the result of a creative collaboration between artist photographer Bettina von Zwehl, known for her explorations of the photographic portrait, and psychoanalyst and academic Josh Cohen, author of award-winning books on psychoanalysis, privacy and the nature of the self. Two series of images by von Zwehl – fifteen black-and-white silhouette portraits of women in near darkness, and fifty fragments of a single repeated photo of a young girl – appear alongside and within two parallel texts by Cohen – one a critical reflection on light and shadow, the other a fictional tale inspired by the torn photographs – to create a unique hybrid work. The silhouettes, produced during von Zwehl’s residency at London’s Freud Museum and inspired by child psychoanalyst Anna Freud’s letters with women friends, are a reflection of the female bonds in the artist’s own life following the death of a close friend; while the name she gives to the fragments – The Sessions – refers to her fifty-minute sessions in psychoanalysis, her portrait sessions with the child, and her many sessions in the darkroom as she sought the essence of both image and subject. Each of these series of photographs and texts can be read separately, but it is through the careful combination and imaginative interplay of word and image that a new narrative emerges and an additional layer of meaning appears in the gaps and folds between the two. The result is a powerful and moving meditation on separation and childhood memory, the hidden mind and the lasting effects of psychoanalysis, and the nature of art and truth.

Additional information

Weight 552 g
Dimensions 17.8 x 22.8 cm
Publisher name Art Books Publishing Ltd
Publication date 1 October 2016
Number of pages 120
Format Hardback
Contributors Photographs by Bettina von Zwehl
Dimensions 17.8 x 22.8 cm
Weight 552 g
Bettina von Zwehl (b. 1971, Munich) has built an international reputation for her subtle and unnerving photographic portraits. Josh Cohen is a practising psychoanalyst and Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Private Life: Why We Remain in the Dark, which won the BMA Board of Science Chair’s Choice Award for 2014 and was longlisted for the JQ/Wingate Literary Award.