Laura Gonzalez


23 Jul 2006

The opposite of seduction

I agree with Manolo. Crocs are certainly the opposite of seduction.

Visually, they present an interesting juxtaposition: They share some elements of their proper function ((Preston, B. (2000) The function on things. A philosophical perspective on material culture. In Graves-Brown, P. ed. Matter, materiality and modern culture. London: Routledge)) and the the colour. Other than that, the perception, for a viewer (or owner) looking for a seductive experience, couldn’t be different.

The seductive experience is not a question of comfort, either, but of the experience of wearing these shoes, mainly for girls –this is a gender specific issue, I am sure–. What drives this experience is the appearance, the way the shoes look and what that may mean. Crocs encase whereas Blahnik reveals the foot; Crocs protect feet whereas Blahnik hugs them with the straps; Crocs have holes for ventilation (implying smelly, sweaty feet?) whereas Blahnik has bows; Crocs widen the feet whereas Blahnik lenghens the legs, hinting at, enhancing other parts of femenine anatomy and provoking a specific way of walking.

I’d like to do an experiment. I’d loke to wear each of these of a different foot and hop from one to the other… I wonder what kinds of psychological impact may this Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde study bring…

Posted in Blog, Seduction, Seductive things, Shoes

3 Responses to “The opposite of seduction”

  1. Thersites said:

    I am no expert on footwear but this seems a very narrow semiotic reading, selecting in turn from a rather rarified discourse. On the other hand [foot?], I love the idea of your Jekyll/Hyde experiment. Plus, my own prejudices are certainly against the Crocs – but that’s different…

  2. Laura Gonzalez said:

    Your comments are very helpful! What are you referring to with “rarified discourse”?

    This post (like a lot of this blog, actually) was not really intended to be a semiotic or any other kind of reading, rather a note, a thought, for me to remember what the opposite of seduction may look like. Opposition may help me to define this flimsy, cunning phenomenon. I do most of the considered readings on the papers I write, on my PhD submissions and on the written work to my supervisors, most of which is also accessible on the website. The blog is my sketchbook.

    If the whole seduction thing with shoes refers to how we feel when we wear them, I thought I could take that a little further with the experiment. It came to me during a shopping spree, when I was trying a pair of gorgeous stilletos on my left foot, still wearing my tatty Birkenstocks on the right one. I kept switching sides on the mirror and thinking: “now I feel gorgeous, now I don’t”.

  3. Thersites said:

    ” I kept switching sides on the mirror and thinking: Ïnow I feel gorgeous, now I donÌtÓ.”

    It might be fun to keep doing that but wrong-foot your valorisation until you feel permanently gorgeous. And then, with one bound you are free…

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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.