Laura Gonzalez

blog

My book has arrived! — 28 Jan 2010

If you think I have been quiet since Christmas (or even before) it is because writing a thesis does not leave me much to say. All my energy is thrown into those pages, into those words, but today I had a lovely surprise when other words I had written a while ago, turned up, nicely printed and packaged, on my doorstep. I urge you to read the book, as it is excellent all round. It has contributions from some very interesting people such as Martin Dixon, Amy Parker and Guy Julier, who is an authority on Juicy Salif, and was very graceful, elegant and helpful when I presented my paper.

The book also has the insightful observations on creativity from the editors, Barbara Townley and Nic Beech.

cover.jpg

As for my chapter, I think the best way to approach talking about it, since I cannot critique it (at least not today) is to give you the abstract:

Designed by Philippe Starck, Juicy Salif is a kitchen utensil supposed to squeeze citrus fruits and, in particular, lemons. It does not, however, perform its function with the effectiveness of its cheaper rivals. Citric acid may corrode the aluminium or gold from which it is made; its dimensions are unfit to be comfortably stored in a standard kitchen cupboard; its ergonomic characteristics, which should make its use a pleasant experience, leave a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, it is a best selling product and a design icon.

So, if it does not squeeze lemons, what is Juicy Salif for? What is its purpose? What value do viewers, owners and users get out of it? This study will take on a psychoanalytic point of view and will look at how Juicy Salif may, in shop displays and gallery spaces, stand in the place of the object cause of desire, or what Lacan called Object (a). Presenting Juicy Salif as a case study and drawing on examples of other products that have shaped our understanding of objects and lifestyle (Jonathan Ive’s ubiquitous iPod, Manolo Blahnik’s desired shoes) this chapter will argue that what makes Juicy Salif culturally valuable is its ability to seduce, to lead consumers and viewers astray from what may be considered right behaviour.

Here is the first page of my chapter:

Gonzalez.jpg

And, of course, as you can see from the abstract, I managed to fit some Jacques Lacan in a text about lemon squeezers, value and design. Why not?

Lacan.jpg

Read this entry | 5 Comments »


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.