Charis Kontou Abstract & Bio for Denmark


Negative hallucination as a representation of the unrepresentable:

Negative hallucination is a decisive term for André Green since he used it in order to develop all the other concepts and clinical situations which he highlighted in his work of the negative. Negative hallucination is not a pathological phenomenon but a psychic structure which doesn’t refer to an actual perception but to the representation of the object’s absence. Accordingly, as Green writes, ‘it is not the absence of representation as is suggested by the absence of the image in the mirror, but the representation of the absence of representation’. This means that negative hallucination refers to an unreal and fantasmatic construction, a box of blankness, full of thin air, or in other words to a phantasy and, as Green says, a ‘neoreality’ (191). In this paper we will focus on this clinical construction and we will try to see how negative hallucination as the blankness per se can represent the negative, the untold, the always latent. Then we will trace the origins of negativity as coming from the maternal white mourning, i.e. her untold lament. In order to do this we will trace André Green’s work on the negative (1993, 1999) and some fragments from his theory on the dead mother (1983, 2001).



Charis Kontou is a second year-PhD student at the unit of Psychoanalysis at UCL. Her subject refers to the Negative in psychoanalysis and the illustration of the concept by the Greek myth of Persephone. She is also a poetess and her first book with poems was published in 2012 in Greek.