Joker’s laughter

  • Katja Kolšek University of Ljubljana
Keywords: hysteria, sexual relation, subjectivation, lack, unconscious


The present article analyses the the potential or new political meaning of the figure of laughter of the character Joker and his ill laughter as depicted in Todd’s Phillip’s film Joker (2019), firstly in psychoanalytical sense from the point of view of hysteria and the sexual relation, and secondly the political function of the king’s jester (more known to be the court musician and amuser in 16th century England) in psychoanalitical understanding as the indestructible residue or the shadow, which haunts the Symbolic power. The article’s stake is that the main character of the film Joker and his uncontrollable spurs of laughter can’t be understood as a case of hysteria in psychoanalytical sense, but the question of the position of Woman in the unconscious, which would propose something beyond the relam of semblance or of the Lacan’s “discourse, that might not be a semblant”. The Joker thus depicts a political response to the specific kind perverted cinicism of populist authority within the current post neoliberal and late capitalist world, as a specific perverse structure of governing of the new obscene cinisim, fetichist disavowal and the obscenity as the main source of the contemporary populist political power, and displays the weaknesses of such a discourse in power