Walking down Madison Avenue in New York City, I passed by a store that announced the limited time the store will be open, only a few months. This resonated with a recent announcement that the famous restaurant Carnegie Deli -which had closed- will be open as a pop-up restaurant for a limited number of days on the occasion of the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”.
I got curious and did a quick search on what is “Pop-up”. The concept is not new, it originated in Vienna, Austria as a December market in 1298. It was followed by seasonal farmer’s markets, holiday fireworks stands, Halloween costume shops, consumer expos and event-specific concessions. The pop-up retail began extending into other genres such as pop-up restaurants.
What connection with the Unconscious? We know that the Unconscious as discovered by Freud has changed, due to the practice of psychoanalysis but also to the dominant discourses of our time. This is no longer the era of a meaning-deciphering unconscious but as Lacan says the une-bevue, unbewusst, “a-blunder”.
The temporality of the real unconscious is not eternity but that of the instant, the flash, the pop-up. It obeys to contingency, it produces and condensates jouissance. It is the unexpected, the unpredictable. One moment is there, the next is gone. It doesn’t follow a script or narrative other than contingent encounters with lalangue. And it needs the body.