Laura Gonzalez


14 Jun 2013

High Rise by J. G. Ballard ***

Reading dates: 29 May 2013 – 13 June 2013

High-Rise develops an interesting concept: architecture’s agency and its relation to psychology, in particular to perversion and the Id. Given my interest in psychoanalysis, one would think I would be all over this book. Yet, Ballard’s cold, detached style left me just like that: cold and detached. The narrative is good, but the fact that the reader follows three characters (Royal, representing the upper class; Wilder, the working class; Laing, the middle class) dilutes the psychological impact of the book on us. I could not focus. I also did not like his treatment of women. They are non-entities, automatons or prisoners. Same old, same old. I feel Ballard missed an opportunity here. On the other hand, I quite liked the parallels he established between children and dogs. Dogs get eaten at the end, though, and we don’t know what happened to children… Much good material but a slightly clumsy execution. And no bite whatsoever. It should have given me nightmares and it did not.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading

One Response to “High Rise by J. G. Ballard ***”

  1. Anthem by Ayn Rand * said:

    […] forrest. What kind of super-ego does not pursue the ego? All too neat, too imaginary, in the way High Rise descended into pure id. I am looking forward to reading something more balanced, showing the […]

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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.