Art as “The Third Skin”: A Methodology for Exploring “Spatial Repetition” in Trauma

Shira Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the potential of using art-based research to analyze repetitive paintings made after trauma, to understand psychological mechanisms that stem from the body. To this end, I propose a multi-disciplinary approach combining psychoanalysis and art, to describe the concept of the “third skin,” as a psychological-spatial repetitive mechanism originating in the body and stiving towards healing, which is activated following trauma and manifested materially in art. The foundation for this lies in a spatial etiology that I have identified in trauma, which I have named “spatial repetition,” and which provides the basis for a methodology that enables to see repetitive artwork as a visual embodiment of repetition in trauma, as well as a lens through which to understand it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-147
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Somaesthetics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Aalborg University press. All rights reserved.


  • art
  • interdisciplinary
  • methodology
  • psychoanalysis
  • repetition
  • skin
  • trauma
  • wound


Dive into the research topics of 'Art as “The Third Skin”: A Methodology for Exploring “Spatial Repetition” in Trauma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this