Laura Gonzalez


12 Apr 2009


I received feedback on my second chapter from my Director of Studies. Very fair and helpful but it filled me with dread in relation to losing the plot and the focus of the thesis. It is more difficult to write a thesis-as-piece-of-work than a thesis report. I know the challenge would be here all along. I have had it pretty easy until now, no data gathering in the conventional sense, no number crunching, no narrative analysis, no conventional, run of the mill method. Because of this, it is not, at the time of analysis and evaluation that I am finding it difficult. What I do requires a lot of thinking and a lot of looking because it is evanescence. It disappears in my hands as I write. Then, at times, it also surprises me.

Writing is a process of discovery for me and, right now, I am attempting that dialogue chapter that seems to be the kernel of it all. 9,000 words of kernel, though. I learn what I have done through its writing, no matter how grueling it is. In order to do good writing (and this is all about a particular kind of good writing) I have to do a lot of re-writing. So not only I get the horror of the blank page, the knots in the thinking, the conceptual abysses where words are definitely not enough, I also have to establish a relationship with the writing, one that will stand many re-reads. If I get bored with it, so will my readers. If I am not seduced, tricked, tripped by my words, who will? This thought is specially compelling for me now that the external examiner has taken shape. I always wanted her, but thought she would not be able to do it. Well, it turns out she is interested and the pressure is on. She is a writing specialist (amongst other things), you see.

Anyway, my trick to keep my focus in my task is to work images in parallel to the words; to see as much as to write, and to think through both. It does not mean I talk about the images but the contribution to knowledge is definitely manifest in those photos. This is what I discovered in chapter 2. So here’s what I have been looking at closely, my double screen, my double mirror image. I recommend opening it in a new window.


Laura González. Valentino. Photograph, 195 x 73 cm. 2009

Posted in Blog, PhD, Practice, Writing

2 Responses to “Valentino”

  1. Laura Gonzalez said:

    Beautiful! Besides, womanhood is not in the face, but in the toe-line…

  2. emilio said:

    me ha venido esto a la cabeza.

    Espero que te guste.

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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.