Laura Gonzalez

blog

Closed for Christmas — 22 Dec 2012

I hope you all have the happiest of times this Christmas and New Year whatever you do. I am off to Spain for a while, and then back to Scotland to be the host of a modest, yet artistic, New Year’s party before joining the Ruth Mills Winter Intensive straight after the festivities. As she writes: ‘start as you mean to continue’ and that is what I wish for you all too. I will try to live up to holiday hysteria, finish writing this chapter of mine and dance maniacally whenever I can surrounded by inspiring people, which is how I mean to continue my year. See you in 2013, if not before.

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Image: Bergdorf Goodman’s ‘BG Follies of 2012’, Act I.

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10 rules — 14 Dec 2012

Written at the Merce Cunningham Studio, 55 Bethune Street, NY (now the Martha Graham company studio, where I was last week).

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Martha Graham and Woman does not exist — 5 Dec 2012

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I am in Brooklyn for a week, as part of my work with the Transart Institute. I arrived on Sunday and will stay for a week. So far, I have conducted 12 student critiques (we have 6 per day), but being in this city makes me want to fill in every little gap in time I have. On Monday, I took an open class with the Martha Graham company in their new studios on 55 Bethune Street. The stress of getting there from Brooklyn – as I am too used to the Glasgow subway system with its 15 circular stops – was soon evaporated by the welcoming atmosphere and the class itself. It was classic Graham technique sped up, with exercises I am used to doing separately meshed together in one. We start with bounces and straight into contractions and spirals, twisted pliés and high tilts. Even turns around the back go that bit further, but that might be my jet lag. We finish with jumped contractions, something I was not sure was possible. The whole class, I am distracted by the beautiful movement of the dancer-teacher and the pianist. Although the view competes too.

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The studio is beautiful and I feel just so fantastic after it, I leap back to Brooklyn to have my Wonton soup.

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On Tuesday, I am considering going again but it would mean missing the last critique and, although I am told that is ok, I don’t want to let the student down. At lunch, I receive a Lacan.com reminder for one of their seminars. I always read them with attention but it never occurred to me I could go. Now I could. So after 6 crits and a two hour meeting I cross town to NYU to talk about the 6th chapter of Seminar XX, Encore. Or, more like it, to hear the marvellously compelling Josefina Ayerza, editor of my favourite journal Lacanian Ink, talk about it.

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It is a shame I am too shy to take a picture of the seminar and of Josefina. She is quite a lady. I loved her styling, her accessorising (she had a amazing yellow futuristic bag and the latest gadgets she did not know how to operate). Nancy Barton, host for the event, wore the most glittery over-the-top glasses in sympathy, so you get the picture. A Lacanian Rocky Horror Picture Show? Maybe, shame the rest were tame in their suits. I think that is what put me off taking a picture. Josefina might have liked it.

The seminar was good, if hard work, given that we discussed Woman’s jouissance and the four discourses. The morning after, I feel something of a text I never really got has sunk in. Yet, I could not help to feel frustrated by the questions on a discourse of the artwork and the evasion of answers. If only I had been less tired. I left 15 minutes early, drained rather than elated, but the reason for that was not the seminar, rather Lacan and his enjoyment-suffering.

I leave here, instead of the image I wanted to take, a substitute for the missing signifier.

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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.