Laura Gonzalez


11 Mar 2011

The loss of an object

Let me, first, tell you about the loss. I am mourning my PhD. Its content, the work, the hardship, my relationship with my supervisor, the safety of its structure, its intensity, everything. I even miss the exam (about which I will tell you some other time, soon). My lost object manifests itself in the most unexpected places. Last night, it was in the dance studio, which was so instrumental in keeping my sanity during the last months. I thought I would start crying and froze in fear at the idea of having to explain what was happening to me. What have I lost, exactly?

I should not be surprised by this phenomenon. I have experienced it many times, with broken hearts and the stopping of my analysis. We all have, more or less. yet, the absence of the love object is always unexpected. I should be feeling relief, joy, pride. I don’t. Not yet, at least.

I don’t know how long this will last, or how I will recover, how my mind and my body (for I feel it in the body, a kind of hollow) will take the decision to move on. There is not much more I can say. The only thing I can do, for the time being, is to keep occupied, carry on as normal, dance from this loss, think about work, talk to people, write, get back to writing here and tell you about the last months of the research.


Flashing Nipple Remix, #3. 2005
3 black and white transparencies in light boxes.
38 x 48 x 5″ ; Edition of 3 + AP

Posted in Blog, Notes to self, PhD, Psychoanalysis, Writing

2 Responses to “The loss of an object”

  1. Michael said:

    Mmhh, i think you could also describe this symptom as a ‘relief psychosis’. That is the biiiig hole that opens up after doing a long term and stressful project – and then suddenly one has loads of time at their hands again. I think the best thing is to slowly start the next project (phd? 🙂 ) right away.

  2. Laura said:

    I’ll take your advice, Michael, you have been there! My plan is to do bits and bobs but not think about anything long term until December, when I will have to think about career, bids, funding, projects etc. in earnest. Meanwhile, I want to live the loss and try to work it out in the dance studio … Which is a slow way to start the next project, I think … So, YES!

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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.