Laura Gonzalez

blog

5 Mar 2006

The First Entry on Psychoanalyis

I find that, in order to read and understand psychoanalysis, one needs to dispense of normal processing modes and adopt a different way of understanding. The only other time when I have been faced with a similar intellectual proposition has been during my second attempt at reading Joyce’s Ulysses. Psychoanalysis works in associative ways, in hyperlink ways, in repetitious ways, in non-linear ways… That’s why Dylan Evans’ Introductory dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis is my best friend, at the moment: from Objet Petit a to specular image, to part-object, to neuroses, to perversion, to pass… in a chain that will, hopefully, never really end but instead will go down and deeper. Another of my friends is Ubu.com. Being able to listen to Lacan on the iPod, to go back and forth and listen to the same inflections in his tone, his peculiar emphasis and the articulation of his ideas in French have made all the difference. That, and sound’s particular way of getting into the unconscious. I begin to understand not knowing how I am understanding, That’s why I am so looking forward to J’s recordings of Sharon’s ‘Art and Psychoanalysis’ seminars…

I abhor applied psychoanalysis and will try as best I can to stay clear of it. I want to take a psychoanalytical perspective on the seduction problem instead of simply picking and choosing concepts. After talking to C, R and N yesterday, I feel undergoing analysis is the thing to do. How otherwise am I meant to understand the praxis of psychoanalysis? I would not trust (I do not trust!) any theorist that claims to talk about the practice of art without getting dirty with paint. Art can’t be fully understood through books; artefacts need to be experienced directly, in the moment, in the flesh. How is any psychoanalyst going to respect my approach if all the knowledge I gather is through books?

According to Lacan (through Evans) psychoanalysis is not a therapy, but a search for knowledge:

The end of analysis is not the disappearance of the symptom, nr the cure of an underlying disease (e.g. neurosis), since analysis is not essentially a therapeutic process but a search for truth, and the truth is not always beneficial (S17, 122)
[Evans, 55]

Gathering knowledge about myself though becoming an analysand, I may understand the theories and then methods (like I understood the highway code better once I started driving). It may also make me more sensitive to my surroundings, which, hopefully, will help me pick up my introspective writing with a renewed vigour. It may not make any sense for a while, but, with time, fruit matures and the knot is undone.

Posted in Blog, Psychoanalysis


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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.