Laura Gonzalez


22 Sep 2006

Laura’s Dora

Freud's screamI am beginning to have doubts about psychoanalysis as a therapy. As a practice, it is still relevant to the aims of my research but the questions is, how long do I need to commit myself to treatment if I only want to find out how about the context in which treatment occurs.

I simply did not want to talk in today’s session. What does one do in that situation? Spend ¬£40 to lay on a couch and be silent? The fact that I talked non-stop, in a superficial and detached manner points the finger at the heart of my problem: my relationship to the Big Other and the relegation of my own desire. That, of course, is a self-diagnosis by someone that knows very little about psychoanalysis and even less about herself; or so it seems. The second uncomfortable moment came when I tried to make sense of the 11 sessions J‚Äî S‚Äî and I have been through by hinting at the fact that what I may be experiencing could be called hysteric symptoms. Surprisingly, I got an assertive answer, almost followed by a disclaimer. I confessed I had been reading Dora and perhaps, as an impressionable person, I had internalised some of the symptoms in my want for answers. J‚Äî S‚Äî said (kindly and calmly) that Dora was written very early on, very many studies and theories have followed this initial analysis.

What got me, like 10,000 volts electricity, wasthe fact that I am going to have to pick up these pieces in next week’s session. I seem to be opening more wounds than curing them. My symptoms remain the same and I feel I am going round and round in circles. I understand that psychoanalytic treatment requires time and commitment but what dawn on me yesterday was the fact that I may not be able to give precisely that at this stage (let alone the money side).

When my demande d’analyse shifted from the PhD towards my symptoms, I think I held hope for cure. The hope has now faded, leaving an untidy, arduous, rocky road of work to do to get o an unknown destination. Its funny that, knowing what I did about the clinical aspects of psychoanalysis, I thought my case was different… I’ll give treatment a chance, I’ll stop reading Dora, but stopping treatment also appears as one of the possible courses of action.

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.