Laura Gonzalez

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An alley that may not be so blind — 21 Oct 2006

Little by little, I am beginning to see the knots in my tangle of thorns. Seduction is beginning to appear as a more distinct topic and different components (all separate PhDs, I think) are now visible. It is seduction as practice, slightly entwined with it as principle, that interests me. Although I will encounter, undoubtedly, all four categories at different points of the research, I will leave the study of the phenomenon to phenomenologists and the examination of the process of seduction to self-help gurus such as Robert Greene.

Apart from Object a, the discourse of the analyst and transference, I know suspect the feminine and jouissance also have something to do with all of this. I have been putting off reading Seminar XX, but Parveen Adams’s article on Mary Kelly” ((Adams, P (1991) The Art of Analysis: Mary Kelly’s “Interim” and the Discourse of the Analyst. October, Vol. 58, pp. 81-96))” and Ellie Ragland’s text (How the fact that there’s no sexual relation gives rise to culture ” ((in Ror Malone, K and Friedlander, S (2000) The subject of Lacan: A Lacanian reader for psychologists Albany: SUNY Press))” ) together with the objects I am making (reminiscent of jewellery and of being looked at… Soon, I will post pictures) is pointing in the direction of unequivocal feminine pleasures. Feminine but not feminist, although this is a new knot I will have to sit down and undo.

Funny how things go, If someone had told me a year ago that what I was doing was “feminine”, I would have closed off my ears, deny it, probably repress it and try to stop working with the materials I like. This time, and thanks to the good supervision of T‚Äî, S‚Äî and Sh‚Äî, who haven’t uttered the f-word (although they hinted at the fact that what seduced them may not seduce me and viceversa), I arrived at it myself and now see that it clearly has a bearing on the issue of seduction. Slowly but surely. Now, back to work.

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My dad, terrorism and an old crush — 15 Oct 2006

terrorist dreamI dreamt dad and I were driving to Gran’s house (as we used to do every Sunday). On our way, we encountered a group of terrorists, who stopped us and made us get out of the car and into a barn/house/caserio-type building. In that building, there we many other people . Our car had been left in a gravel car parked outside the barn, where there was also a yellow bus, one of those American kids go to school in. Inside the barn, the terrorists (at least one man and one woman) told us to give them what we had on us —including watches, wallets, credit cards and contact lenses, which we had to pierced so as not to escape.

I said I needed to go outside in order to take my contact lenses off. I took with me a little white eye shadow container which had a dirty mirror. the woman terrorist came out with me and my dad. I remember being able to communicate with my dad telepathically. My dad said, with his voice: “I am going for a stroll within the confines of the garden”. Outside, other people were everywhere, getting rid of their possessions. I knew my dad was going to try to escape and I decided to stay and make friends with the terrorist woman to get her attention, so my dad could try to get us some help. I talked to her about girly things. At some point, I said to her I was going to see what a group on the far end of the garden were up to (or was I going to the loo?). She let me go. One I was on the far side of the garden, I could see through a glass door that my dad had been successful in getting help. A group of armed SAS is helmets and glowing yellow vests was coming towards me. I decided to escape and look for dad as they were entering the garden.

All was mayhem; people running in different directions. In this chaos, I saw Julio, a tall boy I used to fancy in high-school come towards me and pick me up, really happy to see me. When he put me down, I saw my dad come out of the gents, freshly shaven and smelling of eau de cologne. He asked me: “why didn’t you escape with me?” and I replied that I though I’d better distract the terrorist.

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Writing a clinical diary — 12 Oct 2006

S?°ndor FerencziI have always found that writing a diary or journal, including this one, is a difficult task. If, added to the description and reflection on life and a PhD, one finds the complexities of undergoing psychoanalytic treatment, the prospect is almost insurmountable. No one is sane enough for psychoanalysis; there is always an ever so slight repression, a nagging denial, a level of resistance, something unknown and unconscious. The analysand, no matter how distant from the process she wants to be, always ends up in the midsts of transference. Without that, there’s no psychoanalytic treatment, of course. Psychoanalysis makes the research consider various things, amongst which are one’s subjective relationship to the research (the objective-subjective conundrum, or the personal-political, as I have called it before) and the issue of time and its management.

Looking not to feel too isolated in my task, I quickly google “clinical+diary” for inspiration. Top hit is S?°ndor Ferenczi’s book, writen from the opposing site in the relationship, as analyst. I had come across this book before, in an article by Julia Borossa, part of my beloved In the Place of an Object collection of essays. Borossa talked about the vulnerability, the intensity of the analytic relationship but only now that my sessions were evolving from training to treatment the importance of this issue of recounting clicked.

The contradiction between need and fear, what I mostly feel in the sessions, is very difficult to write about. Description of the topics discussed and the analysis of symptoms undertaken as part of the sessions is easy. But that, in a sense, is not getting involved, not dealing with the issue, repressing. How can one work through the facts, the feelings in the writing? How can one work through the facts, the feelings in art? [Sublimation comes to mind]. Time management is crucial here. I have said before that psychoanalysis does not happen without commitment, both in terms of money and of time. It is the same with writing and art. However painful, difficult, unimportant, boring, long, tedious, frustrating it may be, one has to keep at it, day after day, week after week or whatever the time agreement is. This is the only way breakthroughs in the style, the accounts, the works could ever happen. Resistance is pierced, something emerges. Write, Write, Write; Do, Do, Do. Let that be a promise from me, who hasn’t finished a substantial piece of work in a long time.

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By the book — 6 Oct 2006

I don’t know why but I have an irresistible urge to call J‚Äî S‚Äî “my oracle”, instead of “my psychoanalyst”. If that doesn’t mean I am putting him in the position of subject-supposed-to-know, nothing does.

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Beautiful — 5 Oct 2006


Hannah Wilke, detail of Chewing Gum

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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.