Laura Gonzalez


13 Aug 2009

Perfect Lovers Glasgow

My favourite work of art, the one I would save in the event of a world catastrophe, is on show at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art until 1 November. I did not know about this, I found it by chance, and mistake, while I was going to the public Library (which is just in its basement). I couldn’t believe it was there. It is an uncanny work, one I recognise as familiar (clocks are everywhere) yet strange (two clocks, together, going at the same time?). It is displayed in precise surroundings to provoke exactly this but I found, this time round, an added layer of humanity.

When I saw the work at the Serpentine, I could not tear my eyes off it. The clocks were completely synchronous, to the very second, and anything like that –synchronised swimming, for example– captures my attention, puts me in a trance. When I thought about saving the work from natural disaster, the idea of reproducing it in my kitchen came about. I scoured the internet, found reasonable enough clocks, bought them, displayed them. I did not think much of it until they started telling the time apart. I thought it was due to the cheap make but GoMA’s installation made me realise that eternal synchronicity, in art, life and specially love, is impossible. The clocks were a few seconds apart. No doubt, they will join hands again in the future but each is an entity. The perfection lies, partly, in the imperfection. Phew.

The explanation for what happened at the Serpentine can be found in Felix González-Torres’ other works. It is well known that viewers can eat his candy installations, and that these have an ideal weight (usually his and his lover’s put together). The sweets are replenished over night and I suspect the clocks are synched too. Perfection in love is an illusion, a spell cast over viewers. I felt much closer to Glasgow’s Perfect Lovers and I will rescue my kitchen clocks from their unfair exile and let them tell me the time they want.


Posted in Blog, Seductive artworks

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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.