Laura Gonzalez


RF2 report — 23 Feb 2007

I have submitted a complete first draft of my confirmation report to my supervisors. I think I now walk 4 inches taller!

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New York report — 21 Feb 2007

So, New York was amazing. Despite the cold, the snow, the blizzard, the College Art Association conference was full to the brim and our paper went very well. I judge the outcome of papers by the questions asked at the end: there were tricky ones, there were engaging ones and there were ones which showed that what Naren and I wanted to talked about was very new indeed.

It was also a fruitful trip for my research. I attended an Art and Psychoanalysis panel with a mixed outcome. I am weary of the “let’s look at this artist in the context of this psychoanalytic concept”. The shoehorn approach, as I call it, a real problem in my field. One of the papers, discussing trauma and Pollock, was very dubious. It claimed that the event that marked Pollock’s life and art was the fact that he was born with he umbilical cord around his neck. That, apparently explained his self-destructive behaviour. Although I am conscious that I am simplifying matters by just writing a quick run through, this kind of approach to interpretation is sign of a general malaise in the field of Art History. I am a practitioner and a reasonably practical person, so I went to test it. The Museum of Modern Art is probably one of the best-designed spaces to show art I have ever seen. It is full of people, but the building’s crowd management through architecture is remarkably successful. It’s most interesting feature for me, though, is the fact that one is allowed to take flash-less photographs. What fun I had! Even Pollock seamed positive to me.

Pity I couldn’t test the comic guy’s paper, which was very good, even though it also followed the approach of object+concept, in this case the “gutter” in comics and Lacan’s phallic jouissance. It may have been my sense of brotherhood everytime I hear Lacan mentioned but I found him more reasonable, at least.

My research did not stop there, though. On my last day, I found that, all along, I had been living near this:

Guess what it is? The answer, together with a few more pictures of the trip (including some amazing displays of Faberg?© eggs), is here. Lucky me, I am returning in June for more. I was totally seduced by it. Encore, encore, encore. That was what New York was, for me.

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Melanie Carvalho’s expedition — 12 Feb 2007

expeditionSome of my thoughts on Melanie Carvalho’s book Expedition have been published on
ART & RESEARCH, Volume 1. No. 1. Winter 2006/07, a new e-journal looking at research in contemporary art practice. Something much needed, in my opinion…

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The conference butterfly — 11 Feb 2007

I am getting really excited about going to New York. The College Art Association conference looks busy and interesting and, in a similar fashion than in the Biennale’s press days, lots extra seems to be going on. I think I will go to see the MFA show at Hunter College and perhaps I can even convince my boss to get us tickets for the gala dinner. That would be nice. I am also strangely looking forward to the paper, even though I shouldn’t be, as I haven’t seen a finished version yet. I like speaking in public (says the Thespian in me). But the city is what interests me the most about the whole thing. Lucky me, I am going there twice this year! Pics and post on return.

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Louboutin… sigh — 10 Feb 2007

Shoes are one of those things I can’t resist. The inside signature, the hidden red on the heel throw shivers down my spine. What… who would I be if I wore these?

With many thanks to the Manolo, ever inspiring.

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The language of seduction — 3 Feb 2007

Just finished reading Tortajada, M (2004) Eric Rohmer and the mechanics of seduction. Studies in French Cinema, 4 (3). pp. 229-238. In this paper, she examines a category of seduction, which she calls seduction through ambiguity, by studying Eric Rohmer’s Conte d’automne. In passing, she mentions other methods of seduction which she discusses in her book, Le spectateur s?©duit: le libertinage dans le cin?©ma d’Eric Rohmer et sa fonction dans une th?©orie de la repr?©sentation filmique (1999, Paris, Kime). Pick up caught my eye and, as I was googling for it, I came across this page. Seduction has its own language, literally.

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Feminine seduction #2 — 2 Feb 2007

Hannah Hoch

Kiki Smith

I am still surprised to find that this subject of feminine seduction has been so unconscious within my research. But the evidence is there! With the two new images above, let’s recap where we are at:

Pilar Albarracin, Iranzu Antona, Naia del Castillo, Vicky Civera, Sylvie Fleury, Hannah Hoch, Mary Kelly, Sharon Kivland, Cathy de Monchaux, Nazareth Pacheco, Pipilotti Rist, Kiki Smith, Hannah Wilke, Francesca Woodman…

Now, like Malcolm Gladwell’s friend Howard Moscowitz did, I need to find which of three seduction categories they fit in: plain-like, spicy-like, or extra-chunky-like.

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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.