Laura Gonzalez


30 May 2006

The Couch

The couch is decidedly one of the weirdest experiences I have ever had. I do not think I can even begin to explain its strangeness without getting into theoretical frameworks around transference and the blind gaze or just plain clich?©s. I cannot say I liked it wholly, but I felt something intense after the experience and I am curious to continue. The silence of the analyst is one of the things that disturbed me the most. I almost forgot he was there and when he intervened, I kind of startled. Yet, I was not exactly talking to myself. Who was I talking to?

The idea of complete freedom is also quite disconcerting. What do I talk about? How do I start something circular though something linear? I wish I could talk about many things at one time, have many voices, keep various strands going at the same time, make a 3D picture of what I want to say.

A third disturbing element is the fact that there’s no time to wind down. When J— S— told me “this is all our time for today”, I was in a kind of trance and cannot quite picture how I got to the train station. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and recalling what ballet reverences felt like helped me to let go.

I am beginning to find parallels between the analysis situation and the art gallery. This, of course, is nothing new. Samuels*, Leader** and others have already hinted at this connection. They have done so, however, from the position of the analyst. Indeed, Samuels even goes to the extreme of stating that Art is like Lacan’s discourse of the analyst*** except in the issue of knowledge production, something I definitely want to challenge.


* Samuels, R (1995) Art and the position of the analyst. In Feldstein, R; Fink, B & Jaanus, M. Reading Seminar XI: Lacan’s four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis. Albany: State University of New York Press.

** Leader D (2002) Stealing the Mona Lisa: what art stops us from seeing. Washington D.C: Shoemaker & Hoard.

*** Discourse of the Analyst:

Posted in Blog, Psychoanalysis

One Response to “The Couch”

  1. Neil Scott said:

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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.