Laura Gonzalez

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2011 in books — 31 Dec 2011

These are the books I read in 2011, in order of the date I finished them. 2011 was the year when I renewed my love of fiction, after 5 years of PhD, and will be marked by my first encounter with Muriel Spark, whom I can say is my favourite writer. May 2012 bring me more time to read all I want to read.

Laura’s bookshelf: read in 2011

Site-Writing
5 of 5 stars
tagged:
hysteria-project, non-fiction, and psychoanalysis

Lady Chatterley's Lover
4 of 5 stars
tagged:
kindle-books and literature

The Man Who Was Thursday
3 of 5 stars
The first half of this book is amazing, wonderful and very tightly conceived but I think it loses itself a little in the second half, when they go after Sunday. It is still memorable, though, and scenes have stayed with me. The ending is od…
tagged:
kindle-books and literature

Cosmos
4 of 5 stars
One of the strangest books I have ever read. Yet, it was insightful and enjoyable. Something about it reminded me of the films of Darren Aronofsky or those of Lars von Trier. Perhaps the difficulty of explaining what it is about … It was …
tagged:
kindle-books, crime-fiction, and literature

The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression
4 of 5 stars
tagged:
hysteria-project, libraries, psychoanalysis, and non-fiction

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
5 of 5 stars
Wonderful book. I only give 5 stars to books I would like to re-read, to those I miss and this one is certainly one of them. The precision, the plot, the characters, the treatment of time and, above all, the elegant repetitions are like not…
tagged:
kindle-books and literature

Mansfield Park
4 of 5 stars
tagged:
kindle-books and literature

The Big Sleep
2 of 5 stars
tagged:
kindle-books and crime-fiction

The Girls of Slender Means
5 of 5 stars
I thought ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ would be difficult to match, but I was wrong. This books had the same trademark elements as ‘The Prime …’ but, in addition, is shows humour and tragedy from the very first page.
tagged:
kindle-books and literature

The Devil's Star
3 of 5 stars
tagged:
kindle-books and crime-fiction

The Snowman
3 of 5 stars
tagged:
kindle-books and crime-fiction

The Woman in White
4 of 5 stars
tagged:
kindle-books, crime-fiction, and literature

Headhunters
1 of 5 stars
What was this all about? I am a fan of Nesbø but I found this book very disappointing. THe characters and the plot are completely unbelievable. I know that part of the appeal of the Harry Hole series is the false clues, the red herrings, bu…
tagged:
kindle-books and crime-fiction

The Comforters
4 of 5 stars
Muriel Spark’s first novel contain all her trademark character development, language precision and tight plot. It is quirky, lovely and satisfying. Still, I found the story of the voices and the novel within the novel a little too self-refe…
tagged:
kindle-books and literature

The Sense of an Ending
4 of 5 stars
A good elegant novel, written with precision and with a surprising development, which I underestimated until the very end. I think there is a dip towards the middle-end where it loses itself a little, which is it does not get 5 stars from m…
tagged:
kindle-books and literature

La soledad del manager
2 of 5 stars
tagged:
kindle-books and crime-fiction

The Gaze of the Lens
3 of 5 stars
The book consists of 100 short, but thought provoking, reflections on photography. While the author’s erudition is patent in the writings on photography and psychoanalysis and those pertaining to theory and histories of photography (in part…
tagged:
kindle-books, non-fiction, and photography

Pale Fire
5 of 5 stars
This is an amazing book, a feat of style and form and, just because of that, no the easiest read. yet, it is rewarding and interesting. Not exactly satisfying, mind you, but I find Nabokov never is. I could only read it in the mornings. Bef…
tagged:
kindle-books and literature

Killing Floor
3 of 5 stars
Killing Floor is a well plotted story, with good pace and a great main character, although still a little unbelievable. I am willing to see how Reacher develops in future books. The writing is, I think, too filmic and there is a lot of shru…
tagged:
kindle-books and crime-fiction

Jar City
2 of 5 stars
I liked the main story around murder, genetic disease and paternity but I am not sure about the characterisation and the subsidiary stories, which all seemed a little flat to me. Erlendur has potential as a detective but I found him too bla…
tagged:
kindle-books and crime-fiction

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
4 of 5 stars
tagged:
kindle-books and literature

Garnethill
3 of 5 stars
A good story, well thought through and executed, mostly (I took some small consistency issue with the scene where she finds out who the killer is). Glasgow appears interesting and a worthy context, making me consider visiting some of the bu…
tagged:
crime-fiction and kindle-books

Talking About Detective Fiction
2 of 5 stars
I got the sense that this book, although interesting, would have worked better as a series of lectures. It is full of repetitions (how many times does the word ‘vicariously’ appear) and it is vapid. It shows some insights, here and there bu…
tagged:
kindle-books, crime-fiction, and non-fiction




goodreads.com

Laura’s bookshelf: currently reading on the 31 December 2011

Blood Memory
0 of 5 stars
tagged:
currently-reading, hysteria-project, and non-fiction

Hysteria
0 of 5 stars
tagged:
hysteria-project, currently-reading, non-fiction, and psychoanalysis

Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière
0 of 5 stars
tagged:
hysteria-project, kindle-books, currently-reading, non-fiction, and ps…

The Ballad of Peckham Rye
0 of 5 stars
tagged:
kindle-books, literature, and currently-reading




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Goodbye (for now) to New Moves International — 18 Dec 2011

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Tuesday’s lunchtime was marred by this news report.

I feel I am writing an obituary, for, since the issues were made public, I am mourning the loss of my favourite time in Glasgow, what I have been looking forward to since I applied, booked and paid for my place in this year’s events, back in October. Winter will be a long season now.

New Moves International were behind the New Territories festival and, for 30 years, the National Review of Live Arts. And many other little pockets of activity, since the form of their events has been ever changing, forever critical of itself and its form, reflexive to point of dizziness, risky, engaged, tormented, inquiring.

The National Review of Live Art brought La Ribot to Glasgow, introduced me to Guillermo Gómez-Peña and La Pocha Nostra – with whom I was going to do a Winter School in March 2012, as part of this year’s activities – and allowed me to experience the bodily fluids and the deaths of the favourite performers of Via Negativa’s artists, first hand. It showed me that art – live art, mind you – could still give me shivers down the spine, that not all was lost to mediocrity, trends and the market. It provided a home for my own dreams of merging the visual with dance, with video, with psychology in a direct and effective way, with as little mediation as possible. It has introduced me to interesting people like Mary Brennan and her partner, whom I was always looking forward to chat, the New Moves team, starting with Nikki Millican and Colin Richardson-Webb and the Contemporary Performance Practice staff and students at the Royal Conservatoire. It made me flinch, recoil at certain experiences, like the closeness of a hammer to my skull, blood and nudity, screams, a meal made up of discarded organic elements gathered during an operation, the kiss of a man who has just drank the sweat he had produced after a whole hour in a plastic bag. It made me politically active, engaged, believing, as Gómez-Peña passed around a bottle of Havana Club 7 while declaring ‘God Bless America’, which was followed by a good 10 minutes of ‘God Bless …’ from the audience (from Finland to Glasgow, someone’s cat and anything that came into the thrilled, and tipsy, audience’s head). Those of you who know me best will have heard all of these accounts, and will remember my joy. In fact, you often ask me, at any point in the year, when is the festival taking place. And now it is not.

New Territories and the National Review of Live Art made Glasgow cutting edge, far more than any Turner Prize. In its over 30 years of life, it has reinvented itself a few times, so I have a glimmer of hope that such earthly pursuits as ‘financial irregularities’ will not stop its vital pulse. It has often been called a phoenix and I am hoping that this naming is correct and that I can be part of it again. My hands are here for any reconstruction that needs to take place.

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Spaces to work hysteria — 2 Dec 2011

La Ribot’s wonderful work Llamame Mariachi, inspired me as to the technique I wanted to use for my work on hysteria.

She films movement from within, she dances with the camera and the effect is one of convulsion, but also joy.

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So, since my PhD, I have changed the space I work in, from a crowded artist’s studio, with papers, notes, images, computers and sketchbooks to an empty dance space.

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It is here that I rehearse the movements of hysteria, its body practice, like the famous arch of hysteria (remember La Grande Hysterique I wrote about a few weeks back), in which you may recognise the high arch prone of contemporary dance and which some of you may know in the guise of Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture. In hers, the hysteric is a man.

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For hysteria is a body practice and, moreover, a choreography.

Look at Charcot’s movement classifications, from his attitudes passionelles (passionate attitudes, the seduction in hysteria), to the clownisme, epileptoide phase and delirium. All pervert (exhibitionist) phases too, I think.

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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.