Monday, February 28, 2011

German Sezession Blogging: Hemineglect edition

Deciding in 1967 to abandon art, the painter Anton Räderscheidt stopped attending to the left-hand side of things, with the hope of switching to a more lucrative career in American political journalism. Sadly, he found that he had misjudged the moment and hemineglect was still seen as a symptom rather than an asset. He was forced to teach himself afresh to imagine and attend to things in the left visual field.

Lovis Corinth had already progressed through the same trajectory back in 1911.

Rather than bother with rehabilitation, in their position I would have simply focussed on clients who only wanted one side of their face painted -- for reasons of vanity, or even for economy if both sides are the same -- but I am not an expressionist painter.

The case of Federico Fellini is described here. A right-hemisphere stroke in 1993 left him with left-arm paralysis. Asked to copy the Reys test and retrace it from memory, he omitted lines at the left, though he did feel that the diagram would benefit from the addition of naked ladies.

The same tendency to omit details at the left appeared when he drew the human figure (choosing to draw his female neuropsychologist as a dominatrix).*
Fellini was not able to overcome his attentional deficit, despite full awareness of it. But it wasn't a complete loss and after rehabilitation he went on to collaborate with Dario Argento, on a series of horror movies in which an aging, half-paralysed movie director is menaced by psychopathic murderers approaching him from the left side where he doesn't notice them.

* The authors describe it as "drawing from memory", to remove any suspicion that they stripped off to pose for FF.

UPDATE: Bonus Facial hemineglect as an unfortunate but short-term side-effect of the Faradic Facial-Muscle Stimulator at the Old Entomologist.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Dammit, S.C., you mean we have to do homework before we can make our attempts at humor?


Smut Clyde said...

I assumed that you know this stuff already.

fish said...

American schooling focuses on important things like exalting the producer class.

Another Kiwi said...

I assumed that you know this stuff already.

Most of this stuff had not happened when I was at school

Kathleen said...

DA Harvey Dent files a motion for disqualification