Laura Gonzalez


30 Jan 2007

Being seen by Blind Greta

Douglas Gordon, 100 Blind Stars: Mirror Blind Greta, 2002. Photograph by Robert McKeever. Courtesy of the Gagosian Gallery.

Just like people queued to see the empty space of the Mona Lisa when the painting was stolen in 1911, each time I see Gordon’s Greta, I can stop looking at it. To me, this image is incomprehensible and that quality captures my gaze. Te riddle seduces. I also tend to stare at the eyes of blind people, as if looking for something, wondering how the act of seeing takes place. Yes, I know all the stuff about light and the organ of sight, but that does not account for how I see. That’s part of the riddle; a riddle that gets more complicated if we admit that perception is reality.

The eyes of Greta, the eyes that feel see me but I can’t see remind me of the eyes of Dr Sh‚Äî, my analyst. Also the stare of the artwork, that which stays with me and watches me when I am not in the gallery. How can something you see see you? And what does it do to you when you feel you are being seen? That is part of the pont of analysis; so is the case when the gallery space. You know? Freud was analyzed by the Acropolis; or, as he put the object caused a disturbance of memory in him.

Ah, the scopic drive and its relationship to desire! So much to say, so little time. Must get back to my PhD confirmation report…

Posted in Blog, Psychoanalysis, Seduction, Seductive artworks, Seductive things

No Responses to “Being seen by Blind Greta”

  1. JUAN said:

    But that’s why you feel precisely those sensations, the secret link between time and
    words, or silence for that matter. By the way, what the hell is the scopic drive?

  2. Laura Gonzalez said:

    Ah! the scopic drive! Psychoanalytic speech… In spanish, drive is translated as “instinto”. Scopic drive=instinto de ver, de ser mirado. Lacan put the gaze at its centre, as the object of the scopic drive. Gaze not as related to the eye, but as being seen; like when a picture of Greta jumped at me from a book or a newspaper. A few months ago, it happened continuously as Edinburgh was hosting a major exhibition of this artist. It was sort of scary, believe me.

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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.