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Donna Bassin
Montclair, NJ

Artwork Details
Birdhouse: Couple #1
Iris Print
28" x 22"

Donna Bassin received her BA in Sociology from the University of Michigan, her MPS in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from the Pratt Institute, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University, as well as a Certificate in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy from the Institute of Psychoanalytic Training and Research.

In her exhibit, The Afterlife of Dolls, Bassin employs pinhole and plastic toy cameras to photograph dolls, dollhouses, and other playthings. For this series, Bassin created miniature worlds within a 1950s dollhouse in her consulting room, and opened the shutter of a pinhole camera for 45 minutes - the length of a psychoanalytic session.  Bassin sees The Afterlife of Dolls as part of her personal process of working through the burden of memory and loss. She explains, “The work is about adult play therapy: the treatment of the analyst by her childhood artist.  My current art practice began as personal therapeutic play in response to the despair and rage of a terrorized and grieving culture. I have created, played with, and photographed miniature worlds in an effort to work through trauma.”

For the past twenty years Donna Bassin has been part of a group of analysts revising the psychoanalytic theory of women and the meaning of gender in psychoanalytic theory and practice. A licensed psychologist, she is a member of the International Psychoanalytic Association and faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, where she is a founding member of the Doris Bernstein Memorial Section on Gender Issues in Psychoanalysis. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Creative Arts Therapy at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.  Bassin has authored numerous papers and reviews on gender and female sexuality, as well as more recent work on memorialization, rituals and mourning. These have been published in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Psychoanalytic Psychology, Gender and Psychoanalysis, and Studies in Gender and Sexuality, among others.  Bassin has co-edited Representations of Motherhood (Yale University Press), edited Female Sexuality: Contemporary Engagements (Jason Aronson Press), and is currently working on a book entitled What Remains: Memorialization and the Working through of Mourning.  Her recent artistic efforts represent a shift from her writing about loss and trauma to exploring grief, despair, mourning and rage through photography.