Don’t Say Anything, a durational performance piece as part of the exhibition ‘This House has been Far Out at Sea’, Laurieston Arches, Glasgow. 2-4 May 2015, 12–6 with a late night on Sunday.
I will return to Frau Emmy von N. the words Sigmund Freud wrote in his famous case history about her. She will tell you her story of hysteria in the first person, just as Emmy would have told it to Freud in 1889.
As part of Glasgow Open House Festival.
A paper I wrote with the wonderful Christopher Danowski has been published in issue 0 of ELSE, an international art, literature, theory and creative media journal. The image on the cover is also a hybrid, like the writing: Chris’ head and my décolletage. Thank god there is a fair amount of Lacan in our paper to analyse that. Have a look at this smart publication here (free but needing registration) and consider submitting. The deadline for the issue on contemplation is 1 January 2015.
I curated Alternative Maternals, an international show dismantling the collective characteristics by which the maternal is recognisable or known. Through a variety of expressions the show combines diverse lenses of absence, rejection, memory, legacy, scandal, autonomy, physical body and social media. It opens at Lindner Project Space in Berlin on the 3 August 2014 and runs until 9 August.
The artists in the show are wonderful, moving, critical, supportive and very engaged. What can I say, it has been a pleasure to work with them; I have laughed and learned, and I could not have asked for a more interesting project to be involved in. They are: Deborah Dudley (USA), Linda Duvall (Canada), Jeca Rodriguez Colón (Puerto Rico), Miriam Schaer (USA), and Valerie Walkerdine (UK). You can see the charming catalogue we produced here (PDF, 1MB).
I want to thank Cella and Klaus Knoll at Transart Institute, Eto Otitigbe and Kate Hers Rhee for their support with organising a show in a venue I have not been in yet. It is amazing how easy and rewarding it has been considering the crazy nature of the circumstances.
Wimbledon blog posted a lovely review of our performance last week: http://blogs.arts.ac.uk/wimbledon/2014/03/25/acts-re-acts-week-three/
I want to thank everyone at Wimbledon (Clare Mitten, Peter Farley, Anna, Richard and Mette) for making the day go smoothly, bearing with us and our pernickety approach to lighting and being so attentive to our outpour of words. Your generous feedback will make us revisit this text again, fold it for the fourth time and show it to you.
[…] This was followed by a performance lecture ‘Reading Hysteria, Between Laughter and Crying’ by Eleanor Bowen & Laura Gonzalez, incorporating performed text and projections. The work explored the condition of “hysteria” both historically and in relation to the image and performativity, reading and writing. The performance culminated in Bowen and Gonzalez re-enacting Ulay and Abramovich’s AAA AAA (1978) to a screening of Sam Taylor Wood’s film Hysteria (1997). […]
Eleanor and I will be presenting our performance lecture ‘Reading Hysteria Between Laughter and Crying’ at Acts Re-Acts on Wednesday 19 March at 3pm. We will be sharing our time with the fascinating Mette Sterre, showing STRUCTUREALIST (2pm) and the wonderful and elegant Richard Layzell (of Glory fame) who will be presenting SWITCH (4pm).
READING HYSTERIA, BETWEEN LAUGHTER AND CRYING (30 Minutes)
Bowen & Gonzalez present a collaborative performed text, accompanied by projected images and film. The piece explores the relationship between writing and reading, and the role of the image and performativity in relation to the condition known as hysteria.
Last night was the last performance of Glory. Last night was the beginning of something. It has been a tremendous journey of enjoyment and of learning. I am grateful for many things: for meeting 50 (50!!!) amazing people with whom I could keep spending my evenings until further notice. I enjoyed everyone’s company so much. The pants chat, the stories, the backgrounds, the skills, the voices, the moves, the touch. Jeanne hugs like no other person. When I am in a low mood, I have her hugs to remember. I am grateful to all my partners, for I danced with you all in these last two months. I will also remember Robert, always there watching, witnessing, and smiling. My favourite audience member (although I think he was one of the dancers, just being outside of the stage), the one I saw every night. Barry, the calmest person I know; Pete’s cheering and whooping; Fi, who is boss and made everything work so elegantly; stylish Viviane, who looked amazing every night and let her grace seep even into her emails. I am grateful to you. Nadia gave me a foundation, made me regain my core (no one saw me wobble because I did not) and arrive in one piece. Nadia took care of us very well. Martin, Neil and I made wonderful trios while filming. It is possible to dance and film, and smile and be mischievous. Wendy, Jo and Margaret Anne were so encouraging with their words, their presence and their gestures. The review clipping in the dressing room door was better than a gold star. It was 4 gold stars! MJ supported us on stage, when we were there, in the thick of it. His music danced with us, enveloped us, was like the floor I rolled on, inviting, softer and warmer than you think, moving. I am grateful to you. Richard’s set was our home and him being so moved when we moved showed me the connection between the two meanings of the word. I am grateful to you. And Janice … for Janice words cannot express my gratitude. I will one day, when we are hopefully working together again. I will retroactively return to Glory and show her what it meant to me in movement.
Today, walking to work in the Glasgow sun, I looked at people in the eye as I passed them. I was aware of my walk, proud, confident, holding on to my core, feeling the ground under my feet. Two people smiled a me. We connected. It was glorious.
Image credits: Kelly Chung and Janice Parker Projects.
Madness, Women and the Power of Art [Paperback]
Frances Davies (Author, Editor), Laura González (Author, Editor)
If madness has a female voice, what art can represent it? Why do women so often find themselves lying on the couch as patients? Does creativity and cultural production have a special relation to madness? This collection of essays from an international cluster of sociologists, social and mental health workers, artists and literary critics offers wide-ranging answers to these pertinent questions. From the madwoman in the attic to the position of women in outlaw motorcycle gangs, the essays address such topics as the role of perversion in Italian literature, a Marxist critique of the psychiatric system, multiple personality order, and the link between creativity and self-harm. Some accounts come from direct observation, or suffering itself; others from reading and looking. In its attempt to represent madness, the convulsive ripples of thought dissect, contradict, perform and, at times, grieve. This book is an enthralling journey into the depths of madness.
Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary Press; First edition (1 Dec 2013)
Frances Davies is a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Practitioner in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Originally a social worker in South Africa, she came to the UK to further her studies. Her work on this book began with her MSc studies in Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the University of Northampton. Laura González is an artist and writer. When she is not following Freud, Lacan and Marx s footsteps with her camera, she lectures postgraduate students at the Glasgow School of Art and Transart Institute. Her current research explores knowledge and the body of the hysteric through text, dance, performance and video.
You are cordially invited to
READING AS ART. TURNING THE PAGES OFVICTORIAN PSYCHOLOGY
Convened by Sharon Kivland and Mura Ghosh
SENATE HOUSE LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY of LONDON
Malet Street, London
TUESDAY 15 OCTOBER 2013
5.45 p.m. for a 6 o’clock start
and ending some time around 7.45 p.m.
Evoking a wind that blows through a library, opening books, prompting unexpected stories, this evening of readings, art, and performances engages with Victorian psychology from the library’s collections
Debbie Booth, Kate Briggs, Jan Campbell, Jamie Crewe, Vincent Dachy & Bridget MacDonald, Karen David, Annabel Frearson, Rachel Garfield & Janet Hodgson, Chris Gibson, Laura Gonzalez, Jane Harris, Peter Jaeger, Kreider + O’Leary & Paul Bavister, Catherine Linton, Hayley Lock, Sophie Loss, John McDowall, Forbes Morlock, Hester Reeve, Naomi Segal, Sarah Sparkes, Holly Stevenson, Julie Westerman, Sarah Wood, Gillian Wylde
This event is free but places are limited and must be booked through the Bloomsbury Festival.