Laura Gonzalez

blog

1 Jan 2014

2013 round-up

Inspired by the escapologist Robert Wringham’s round-up, I am compelled to think of 2013 as a whole and somehow capture what those 12 months brought. I think it was a period of ups and downs. It started with ‘Ghost Cheese’ indeed and ended with Paris and modernism neither of which I can complain about. In between were breakdowns, and doubts, as well as too many poor style decisions I have decided to address in a 2014 New Year’s resolution.

Yet, despite what the sandwich meat days brought, I have been very fortunate to feel, in the most direct possible way, the love of friends. I went to Hong Kong to see Hayley and declared myself a cutie who could sing ‘Livin’ on a prayer’ and not remember it. I maintained correspondence with Peter and Linda, as assiduously and enjoyably as other things allowed me to. I danced with Tom, Ruth, Julie, Vickie, Andrew, Alex, Jane, Rosina, Gypsy, Patricia, Miranda, Salma, Aby, Suzi, Cath, Sita, Natasha, Irene, Jade, Vince and many others. I performed at the Grand Ole Opry, Tramway, the CCA. I read to her aloud at the Ministry of Truth. I worked with Ama and learned so much. I taught in Berlin and made one of the days (that Thursday), have more than 24 hours. I ate a lot of macaroni cheese, and even more broccoli. I wrote with Ellie. I published a book. It made my eyes bleed but now I know I can do it and may even do it again soon. I kept on with with the DiaMat book group; it makes me think if the world as a place of possibilities. I joined another book group and read the works of ornery women. I sang a Christmas card. I saw three pieces by Tino Sehgal. I got two PhD students through. I did not see my friends enough but know they understand; I did not see my family enough but I also know they understand. I went on holiday with my dad to Berlin again. I felt closer to my mum (she started dancing!) and I spoke to my brother every month of the year. I played Scrabble in a naked sauna in Amsterdam. I also went to naked baths in Japan. A stranger entered my house and found me naked, which gave both of us the fright of our lives. I spent Christmas in Egypt and saw where the 10 Commandments were given (no Charlton Heston, although I kept thinking of the film).

And I read a lot, well, at least fiction and by my own standards. My 2013 New Year’s resolution was to read better and I think I achieved it, even though I did not manage to finish 3 of the books on my list (Libra, No Name and Ada). I have awarded four prizes:

[RED]: The book I would recommend (closely followed by ‘Heroines’)
[GREY]: Don’t touch it (with ‘Anthem’ as a close second)
[GREEN]: Book revelation of the year (‘Frankenstein’ was my other choice)
[BLUE]: Most pleasurable reading experience (‘Where’d you go Bernadette’ almost made it)
[*]: Read with Neil, aloud
Should have abandoned reading

  • Heroines by Kate Zambreno
  • The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence
  • Die Trying by Lee Child
  • The Bat by Jo Nesbø
  • The Complete Father Brown Mysteries Collection by G. K. Chesterton
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James*
  • Death by Analysis: Another Adventure from Inspector Canal’s New York Agency by Bruce Fink
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (* partially)
  • Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
  • Nineteen Seventy Four by David Peace
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  • The Complete Short Stories by Muriel Spark
  • Strictly Bipolar by Darian Leader
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark
  • Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
  • Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway*
  • La fiesta del chivo by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Anthem by Ayn Rand*
  • High-Rise by J. G. Ballard
  • The Dying Animal by Philip Roth
  • L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker—But I am glad I kept with it and finished it
  • A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Blood Memory: An Autobiography by Martha Graham
  • The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin
  • One-Way Street and Other Writings by Walter Benjamin
  • Madness, Women and the Power of Art, ed. by Frances Davies and Laura González
  • The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
  • One Dimensional Woman by Nina Power
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen*
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
  • The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

For 2014, I have given myself the permission to abandon books and a much less worthy reading list, with space for whimsy, experimentation, and whatever the year throws at me. Start recommending if you want.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading


2 Responses to “2013 round-up”

  1. Neil Scott said:

    I think you’re missing philosophy: Madness and Civilization? Alien Phenomenology?

  2. Rob said:

    Wee! I like Philip Roth too. Portnoy’s Complaint has been my favourite so far, though it is extremely silly.

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.