Laura Gonzalez


9 Sep 2006

Holiday footwear

My recent 2-week holiday in Spain was mainly taken up by two activities: resting and thinking about shoes. Since talking about the former would probably make me tired again, I will concentrate on the latter. The train of thought started during a day-trip to San Sebastian, where N‚Äî and I witnessed a wonderfully professional street tango. If a few years ago I created a piece of work entitled “My life is like an Argentinean tango” is because it is in tango -with its melodramatic music; its sensual dance; its black, white and red colour scheme; and its shoes- where most of my fantasies reside.

Needless to say, the female tango dancer in San Sebastian had exquisit shoes, just battered enough from dancing:

That got me going. When I returned somewhere linked to the world wide web, I felt the need to get properly initiated into the propocols of Tango. I discovered that Glasgow is very good for courses and practicas. Information about where to get suitable footwear to spin and lift was also provided. I found heaven: heaven is where you can buy, amongst many other pairs of specially fitted shoes, the Yanella model. Recognize them? However, it is always dangerous to get what you desire.

One’s desires are not configured out of thin air. My mother firmly believes that, if she hasn’t bought me something, she hasn’t loved me enough. The shopping usually involves shoes as, given that my feet are a prudent size one, I get them when and where I can. My mother has the patience of a saint and the determination of a physics nobel price winner when it comes to small size, shoe-buying perseverance and, winter being round the corner and Scotland too far away from her, she bought me my first 2007 winter boots. Cold colour, round toe and elegant details is the talk of next season.

My new boots make me consider the role of shoes in contemporary arts practice and, of course, Naia del Castillo’s work had to feature. Stimulating photographs, beautiful boots:

Naia del Castillo, Cortejo

Adam Chodzko, in his usual witty, tragic way, thinks through the more conceptual aspects of shoes. Could we be Carrie if we bought some Manolos?
impractical shoes
Right:Adam Chodzko, M-path. Left: Phoebe’s “impractical” shoes

After all that thinking, I returned home to find a pink envelope. Inside the pink envelope, Phoebe had sent me some impractical shoes. These reminded me that impracticality is, indeed, a desirable characteristic when it comes to seductive shoes.


Posted in Blog, Peripheral thoughts, Seductive things, Shoes

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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.