Freud was of the notion that Thanatos and Eros are intertwined amongst themselves. The drive towards death is apparent either when projected in an outward manner through defence or erotically tinged. There a painting by Hopper, a photographic depiction that evokes, perhaps somewhat uncanny experiences mentioned by Freud. Today, these are glossed as a death drive manifestation that further is tinged with a hint of eroticism. A young lady standing in a white sheer dress invitingly stands in the city apartment building in New York formed into a granite portico (Bell 2015). This scene consistently reminds the viewer of Gradiva’s, (2006), bodily apparitions as analysed by Freud. The white dress brilliantly puts the interior to the forefront and is highlighted by the darkest shade of black. This represents death, not only in its erotic form but also in its most violent forms.
The repetitive temporality cannot be depicted, perhaps except in the architectural elements repetition and there is surrealism in the black colour used. From the perspective of this essay, it can be said that the paintings of Hopper can be elucidated with regard to death drive related uncanny surfacing (Delillo 1992). What is known as death drive figuration in Hopper’s photographs at times also takes the visualization of void. There are various examples of artists who view the empty stage as remarked by David Anfam. He argued that it is almost impossible to ignore that void has a symbolic capability. In the last photograph taken by him namely, Two Comedians, it is evident that a performance long due finally has formed into materialization.
Several other critics have also observed death theme prevalent in the works of Hopper. It is even admitted by Hollander, (2003), that train carriage inferiority as a sign of limitless death. The concern here according to Freud is not only with death taken as a subject matter, but however with Hopper’s work that evokes disturbing drive towards death along with contribution to a perspective of uncanny production within the spectator (Dufresne 2007).
Furthermore even not mentioned in the essay, in his book, “Beyond the pleasure principle”, it is the drive towards death that has a demonic appearance and overriding the principle of pleasure. The formulation of Freud with regard to drive is obscure notoriously. However, what is clear is that it was prompted through observations shell shocking soldiers. This view represented the sighting that soldiers often experience death in which soldiers are repeatedly represented in a traumatic experience (Eagleton 2005). Such observations have led Freud to conclude that drives to seek pleasure are inclusive of only limited instinctive portions that commonly have to do with establishment of great unities and bind together while endeavouring death drive for undoing connections for dis-assimilating and destroying, leading towards reducing eventually complicated organic features into their inorganic states. From this perspective, it is apparent that death drive is only making itself appear either in defence form or as an aggressive form. No matter what, the form of death drive, it simply elucidates itself through photographic visualization as evident from the discussion in this section.