“Feeling in pictures”: the role of art in the analysis of autistic subjectivity

Valeria Bizzarri
in NODES 13-14 →
The aim of this paper is to emphasise the impact that images can have on the subjective perception of the world.
In the first section, we will outline some theoretical aspects which are fundamental to the re-evaluation of non-verbal communication, taking as a starting point the work of Merleau-Ponty and Jung. In the second section, autism will be considered not as a cognitive but as an emotional deficit. We will acknowledge the cases of autistic people – one of them is the well-known Temple Grandin – who “think in pictures”, a process which implies resorting to thinking methods which are different from the “standard” neural type. Lastly, we will present a qualitative interview to an Asperger’s subject, developed by the author, which focuses on paintings and photographs meant to evoke in the interviewed specific subjective and pre-reflective structures which a mere verbal analysis would not be able to grasp.