magazine through Internet
FUSIONED - DIRECTED - WRITTEN AND CORRESPONDED BY: MENASSA 2003
DON'T KNOW HOW TO SPEAK BUT WE DO IT IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES
GRIS, IS A PRODUCT
INDIO GRIS Nº 170
readers, as we had told you, we have been in Buenos Aires because of the
"OIL PAINTINGS EXHIBIT BY MIGUEL
OSCAR MENASSA, IN THE GENERAL SAN MARTÍN CULTURAL CENTRE, HALL 1. From the 5TH
31ST of August.
also because of the
Group International Congress "THE WOMAN AND I". A Congress on
sexuality according to the poetics posed in
the book " The woman and I" by Miguel Oscar Menassa
we continue with the press notes:
INTERVIEW WITH MIGUEL OSCAR MENASSA FOR "DEBATE" MAGAZINE, BY DANIEL CHIROM, published on Friday 29/8/03
strange phenomenon is surrounding Cero Group Psychoanalysis and Poetry School,
which has turned into one of the most renowned associations in its field in
Spain. It was founded by Miguel Menassa, an Argentine professional who has today
hundreds of disciples as well as an important publishing house which edits three
fortnightly publications with more than one hundred thousand copies delivered.
This is the story of the group.
word psychoanalysis was not in the common dictionaries when I arrived in Spain
in 1976", Miguel Oscar Menassa, 63, director and founder of Cero Group
Psychoanalysis and Poetry School, states emphatically. Being a crusader produced
its results for him: the association he leads has three hundreds students, four
facilities in Madrid and four others in Barcelona, Ibiza, Malaga and Zaragoza.
In Buenos Aires, where he founded the association in 1971, it also has a
building where classes and events take place.
Menassa directs three fortnightly magazines: Extensión
universitaria, with one hundred and twenty five thousand copies per issue,
whose printer's mark reads "the magazine on psychoanalysis with the highest
number of copies in the world"; Las
2001 noches, publication dedicated to "poetry, aphorisms and freshness",
and a magazine dedicated to plastic arts called Oleo,
apart of a virtual weekly publication under the tittle Indio Gris. In addition, he directs a publishing house which has so
far published one hundred tittles, of poetry as well as psychoanalysis.
feel that I deserve it and it thrills me. The biggest joke I have made is to
carry poetry to the highest peaks of knowledge"
addition to all that, Cero Group grants scholarships for physicians and
psychologists who want to study in their classrooms, "but only through
their respective professional schools" according to what its the web page
reads. And awards in poetry contests, with publication of their works for the
this interview is taking place, a video camera is recording Menassa permanently.
One of his Spanish disciples operates it, she revolves around her maestro trying
to capture his most minuscule gestures from all possible angles. "My people
have been recording me for two years -states the psychoanalyst- and on Sundays
they record me while I paint; they interview me and then we place it up in
Internet. I don't notice when they are recording me, but it does bother me if
they do it while I'm picking up a woman". The joke is celebrated by several
adepts, who draw in his words with devotion.
she attacked me with no motive
she said: No, nothing is happening to me today,
I attack you because I have motives.
don't look for almost anything in particular.
speak to her and to make love with her
first time I interrupted her
first time I asked her
still better, a dance teacher
Group was born in Buenos Aires in 1971, two years after its ideologist obtained
his degree in Medicine. "We took that name because we said to ourselves ,
we are nothing, we don't love anything and we ambition nothing. That is why we
are zero (cero in Spanish)", Menassa comments. They were a detachment from
the Argentine Psychoanalysts Association and among its founders were Sergio
Lariera, Roberto Molero and Horacio Vallas. "When we wrote the First
Manifesto -he recalls- we were all drunk in the Espumita bar. The reason is that
we were a group of tormented people, all physicians, who were dedicated to the
the first document of the group, we recovered Marx, Freud, epistemology and
several poets, among them the surrealists César Vallejo and Cesare Pavese,
together with narrators such as Henry Miller and William Faulkner. Of course,
Jean Paul Sartre was not absent. "The poet Luis Lucho -Menassa says- took
me to the factories to recite poems". At that time Menassa already had four
poetry books published. Today there are twenty poetry books, more than six
narration books, seven of psychoanalysis written by him and several works in
collaboration, besides painting a hundred paintings per year.
method for being prolific seems simple "What happens is that people
masturbate too much. I no longer masturbate, and so I have a lot of time".
its beginnings Cero Group was well-known in Buenos Aires as an organiser of very
crowded parties, where sexual freedom was total. Those were the times of free
love and hippies.
Menassa denies all that emphatically: "We proposed to fuck all day long
because the man who doesn't fuck daily has his mind locked. But that isn't free
love. To fuck all day long means: if you have no woman to fuck, write a poem,
paint a picture, walk the street, find a lady and help her to cross her little
dog or make the revolution. Of course, the jerk who thought that to fuck meant
to fuck, would make love three times and then he would say that Cero Group was
impossible because one couldn't be fucking all day".
first thing I did in Spain -Menassa says- was to publish an ad in the newspaper
that read 'Freud, Lacan, supervision'
and further down I signed as director of Cero Group. This was in August and by
November I already had three study groups and fifteen patients".
don't know if he arrived in Spain because he had to leave Argentina or because
psychoanalysis sent him", Magdalena Salamanca, Spanish psychoanalyst and
biologist of Cero Group comments, who likes to define herself, "I'm pure
Cero because I belong to the association since the very beginning".
had been the psychiatrist of some of the boys who were locked up in Villa Devoto
(a Buenos Aires prison) and I was frightened", Menassa confesses. The
exodus of Argentine psychoanalysts was also orientated towards other countries
like Brazil, Israel, Nicaragua and Venezuela. In those lands, Freud's disciples
were also pioneers. "I remember that in an ad in Cambio16
the word psychoanalysis was published with spelling mistakes", the
Díez Cuesta is a central personality within the functioning of the association
in Spain. This woman of fifty years of age, born in the Iberian peninsula, is in
charge of the Master in Psychoanalytical Clinic and two seminars on Freud and
Lacan. "I remember that when she came to study with me I foretold her that
in ten year's time we would have forty groups of psychoanalysis in Spain. Nobody
believed me, but she did, and now she is the boss", Menassa affirms. "There
is no other school in Spain as Cero
Group -Amelia states-. The psychology career is very new in my country and
recently psychology clinic made its entrance. Those who start to attend, come to
our school in order to ask for a certificate of having done some course in Cero
Group. So high is our prestige".
Carlos De Brasi is an Argentine psychoanalyst who emigrated to Spain two years
ago to work with Cero Group. "We imported him -Menassa clarifies- because
he is a great professional and we pay him a good salary so that he can help us
in our task". At the same time, De Brasi affirms that the school "is
the only one that bet for a seminar on thought".
listens to them attentively. His gaze is that of a maestro with his disciples.
Nevertheless he clarifies: "I'm not a patriarch. Each one will guide
themselves by their own blindness. In any case, I'm the one who puts their
blindness in order". "In Spain -Amelia interrupts- they hear the word
psychoanalysis and automatically they ask if you form part of Cero Group".
"I feel happy fort that" -Menassa concludes, while Amelia swears that
"there is no other psychoanalysis school in my country like Cero Group,
because setting up another one like ours is very difficult. The people who are
in the group cannot stop reading all of Freud's work, because in the same way as
when we read a poem today and then we read it tomorrow it's different, a theory
like the Freudian cannot have the same reading in all epochs and circumstances".
that first ad -Menassa reflects- things went right for me. I achieved everything
a man can achieve. As psychoanalyst I got the maximum: to be director of a
psychoanalysis school. And as a poet I achieved something that Freud and Lacan
wanted, that a poet would become the director of a psychoanalysis school".
people have been recording me for two years -states the psychoanalyst- and on
Sundays they record me while I paint; they interview me and then we place it up
place poetry as an ally of psychoanalysis isn't any novelty. But it is to place
them at the same level and as disciplines that must necessarily interact, at
least at the level that Cero Group poses them. "A psychoanalyst that
doesn't know anything about poetry isn't worth because the poetry imaginary is
universal, while the psychoanalysis imaginary is restricted, theoretical",
is Amelia's point of view. And Salamanca is even more emphatic: "Poetry is
fundamental to think psychoanalysis. when Freud speaks of theory, he resorts to
poetry more than to other sciences. Any psychoanalyst has to situate himself in
front of poetry as if it were any other kind of work".
Group believes that it's impossible to transmit psychoanalysis if there is no
writing in between. "Psychoanalysts cannot be manufactured -Menassa
sustains- if they don't write, because for them it is the only way they have to
prove how psychoanalysis was transmitted to them". Currently, the
association possesses 35 literary workshops.
course, such fervour for the poetic language has been inherited from his founder
who published his first poem book Pequeña historia (Small history) in 1961.
is the fact why the most read poet is Menassa himself. His last book, The
woman and I, containing forty seven poems and two CDs, was the subject of
the XIV Cero Group International Congress, which took place last week in San
Martín Cultural Centre, in Buenos Aires, under the avocation:
A Congress on sexuality according to the poetics posed
in the book " The woman and I" by Miguel Oscar Menassa. During
three days, which started very early in the morning and culminated at night,
around a hundred and forty participants, the majority of them psychologists and
psychoanalysts and students of those careers, listened attentively to thirty two
lecturers who analysed the verses of the mentioned book.
explains why: "Menassa's writing is different to Menassa, it is more than
him and forms part of the psychoanalytical thought together with Freud and Lacan".
"The previous congress -Amelia Díez Cuesta continues- was about Menassa's
complete work, but this one was only about his last book because there is
where all of his research about the woman is".
listens to her and then adds:
feel that I deserve it and it thrills me. The biggest joke I have made is to
carry poetry to the highest peaks of knowledge". Afterwards, in a dramatic
tone he asks himself: Why did I have to write this book? After this book, for
two hundred years, no one will be able to say anything about the man-woman
relationship. Here we have forty years of experience in an outstanding writer
like I am, because the praises I have received as a writer, I have never
received as a psychoanalyst or as a painter".
painting, another of Menassa's passions, was also present in Buenos Aires with
an exhibit of his oil paintings which has just finished in the same place where
the conclave about his book took place. In this recent exhibit, all of Menassa's
paintings were sold. Each of Menassa's works is valued between six hundred and
seven thousand Euros. "But here -the painter clarifies- they cost, as the
books do, the same price in pesos, that is to say I use the conversion one per
daughter, Alejandra Menassa de Lucía, a physician and psychoanalyst of thirty
one years of age, inherited his poetic vocation. Last year she published her
poem book Death at home which was
granted the first prize from the Pablo Menassa de Lucía Association. Two weeks
ago she presented her book together with other poets from the group in this city,
with verses full of rhythm and sharp irony, so much alike to her father's
personality , who declares: "I'm a normal person that always arrived on
time to exams, I had children, and nevertheless I'm a damned writer. If
Alejandra Pizarnik would have followed my advice, she would still be alive".
two hours of interview, with a camera flying above the room the whole time,
paintings lying everywhere, ten disciples listening attentively each word of the
founder of the group and declarations where many times
modesty missed its date, there is no more left but a question:
Oscar Menassa, who are you? There are people who still call me Miguelito. When I
was young I worked in the Inclán market place selling bijouterie for women. My
father told me Arab stories and I danced the tango. I'm Miguelito, and think I
am a great writer, that I'm immortal.
In the next three decades, from sixty three to ninety three years of age, I want to become mortal, live life, enjoy what I have produced.