My intention is to honour the placenta, an intricate example of a working economy of desire. The placenta is an organ formed by the embryo and has a half-mother, half-father genetic makeup. The foetus is consequently foreign in relation to the mother. After fertilisation, the placenta evolves as a halo enclosing the developing embryo, embedding itself within the uterine mucosa. It subsequently forms a body with transparent membranes, the amnion and chorion, veiling the foetus in gossamer thin layers of flesh. The placenta is not fused with the foetus. It is connected via an umbilical cord to the navel. This implies that any cutting of the cord of the child involves as Lacan put it, a cutting from a part of itself.[i]
Freud ‘says nothing’ about the placental veil ‘between him and her,’(Irigaray1993:30) Lacan refers to the afterbirth as ‘something which cannot be situated.’ (Lacan2001:113) Irigaray, the student of Lacan, alerts us to the placenta, calling it ‘the first home that surrounds us and whose aura accompanies our every step. ’The placenta with its fluid morphologic of the mucous creates a territory between the mother and child, an in-between two.
My screenprints, etchings, stitchings, together with my writings are a product of the discourse between Irigaray’s philosophical texts and my relationship to birth, desire and my intertwinings with woman-mothers. My authorial practice is a creative left-over, a remnant lovingly crafted, in the interval between me and the philosopher, a creation conceived, supported, and birthed through the desire of two, not one.
Philosophy’s course is first and foremost an inter-course just as human being is a being-with. (Jones2012:158)