Laura Gonzalez

blog

20 Jan 2007

Feminine seduction

Prada shoesA while ago, I reported on a change of direction in my PhD. It had been under my nose all this time but it is common knowledge in psychoanalysis that the most obvious tends to be the most invisible (see Lacan on Poe’sThe purloined letter). In my obsession with the scientific and the objective I somehow overlooked the fact that what I am talking about, from a practice point of view, is feminine seduction.

There is a split, a contradiction between thoughts and my actions. I want to think objective, but I act subjective. I am drawn to shoes, to pinks, to retail therapy, shopping sprees and tiaras. The problem came when I tried to present an image of unity, when I tried to argue that what I experienced as subjective was, in fact, universal. But subjective knowledge can, after all, constitute knowledge and I may be able to get my PhD in spite of this contradiction, right? Lacan’s Seminar XX (Encore: On Feminine Sexuality, the Limits of Love and Knowledge) was helpful to put monsters at rest for a while. But I am a visual person, as I keep repeating to my psychoanalyst, images, colours, forms, are what stays with me. I discovered Silvie Fleury’s work while reading Stallabrass’s Art Incorporated. I did not like her then: although I thought her visuals were enticing, I felt there was something distrustful. A little like a Mantis Religiosa, I thought that, if I got too close, she would deceive me; so I kept my distance. But isn’t that what seduction is? Deception, in the best and worst sense, is what is at heart of it. See Valmont, Juicy Salif and Baudrillard. Once I could see that and decided I did want to be deceived (just for the pleasure [principle] of it), I saw myself reflected in her work.


Sylvie Fleury, Pleasures

Above: Sylvie Fleury, Prada Shoes, Courtesy of Art&Public

Posted in Blog, PhD, Psychoanalysis, Seduction


No Responses to “Feminine seduction”

  1. JUAN said:

    I CAME BACK HERE FROM KAHLO WEBSITE. THE IDEA OF THE CYCLICAL IS ACQUIRING NEW MEANINGS
    THIS DAYS, EVEN IF COMPUTER SCREENS ARE (STILL) RECTANGULAR, SURFING UNDER A CERTAIN WIND
    IMPLIES REVISITING THE SAME SUNNY HARBOURS. AND… OH, YOU AND YOUR 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.