Laura Gonzalez


15 Mar 2009

Nikon or Canon

The first realisation I had during my PhD was the fact that what I was looking for, the objects of seduction I longed for, were already out there. I did not need to spend unfruitful hours trying to re-create, imitate what industrialization, and capitalism had already achieved. To compete, in terms of seduction, what I had to devise was a way to capture the relationship, to apprehend what was going on, to replicate it in order to study it in depth. Photography was my discovery. Four years later, photos are the works of art that titillate me most in an art gallery, as you may have noticed from the way I write on this blog. Photography makes me look twice at things, whether I am in front of a printed image, of behind the viewfinder. Even more if the two conflate and I show what I saw behind the viewfinder. Soon, my image — not the one I have taken, but, rather, me as a model — will take hold of a gallery, and I am looking forward to a new way of seeing myself.

I have been particularly taken by fashion photography, by its glossiness and its fearlessness, by the new language it has created and how it has seeped into the close-knit, inbred fine art world. I found it a breadth of fresh air, especially this show, which I saw on my last visit to New York. I even feel I finally understand Terry Richardson and the Vice Magazine culture! But Fine Art Photography has also had things to say outside of the fashion discourse. I might have been less observant (as fashion photography is all about seduction, and so grabbed me) but interesting things such as this have been going on around me. And then, there are the blogs: from Sartorialist to Belen Cerezo and Neil Scott’s FOTO, I always find inspiration in those pages.

Then, onto the title of the post. I want to commit to photography. It is embarrassing to think that everything I have done has been with a point-and-shoot or a borrowed medium-format camera. I know, I know, the camera is not important, it is what you do with it, but I feel ready to take the plunge into DSLR-world now that my least favourite time in the year is approaching and I may have some disposable cash (she says, wishfully). The problem is, of course, which one. The information out there is dizzying, and everyone has a favorite and an opinion. I am fed up with it, so I want to make this short and sweet. The shortlist is between Canons and Nikons, semi-professional range, moderately light so I don’t get lazy about taking it out with me. Remember I always carry books for comfort… What do you reckon? Do you have camera experiences you want to share with me?

And finally, not to forget what all this is about, I leave you with some images, which are what matters, really (even though none were, I think taken with the cameras mentioned above).

Dan Graham – Slide

Santu Mofokeng, Dove Lady #2, Diepkloof Zone 3, Soweto, (2002) Black & white photograph on Baryth paper, 70 x 100 cm

Terry Richardson, Skateboard P

Keller & Wittwer, I knew some of you better than others, but I miss you all (self-portraits)#2, 2007, b/w Fine Art Prints, edition 6 + 1 ap, 57 x 43 cm

Steven Klein, Untitled, 2008

Juergen Teller


Michael Thompson, Ruffled Neck, New York City, 2007

Posted in Blog, Methodology, PhD, Practice, Seduction, Seductive artworks, That photo

2 Responses to “Nikon or Canon”

  1. pum said:

    here is one of my favorite photos “Bunny” by Polly Borland- hope this link works

  2. Laura Gonzalez said:

    I had not come across it, Pum. Thanks you! What a photo… I am a bit lost for words!

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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.