Laura Gonzalez

blog

18 Dec 2013

… is Femme Letale

I have been going through a crisis. These things are sometimes necessary and I am not complaining. I am just taking the time to get better. As part of the therapy, I have been trying to simplify. This does not mean to reduce, or to get rid of stuff, or to do less. Instead, it has meant finding out what is important. Facebook is not important. It demands a coherent image of myself I cannot quite give. When I cannot give it, it results on a barrage of comments asking (dare I say demanding) answers. I feel better having shut those voices, at least for the time being.

Being a performer, I question whether the issue is that I try to present myself as myself when, in reality, it is but a performance, a role if you want. For weeks, since starting reading Kate Zambreno’s Heroines, I have toyed with the idea of autobiographical non-fiction novels, fictionalised autobiographical blogs and any combination of the above jumble of words. Difficult to explain, I know. I am trying to find the fiction in non-fiction, the performance in the everyday. In her website, Zambreno has a blog called Frances Farmer is My Sister, which part of her book is based on. I think it is easier to assimilate something when it has a name, when it has a title. This blog’s title is Laura Gonzalez–Blog. How lame is that? Thinking my burlesque name was part of the process of coming to terms with something and I think it made me a better dancer. When I am La Canelle, I am La Canelle. Un point c’est tout.

Years and years ago, I started a blog on Livejournal, under the name of Femme Letale. I still use that name on twitter, ebay, and other platforms where the rather boring lauragonzalez has already been taken. I am thinking about being Letale a little more of my time, perhaps even here.

Who is Femme Letale? Her beginnings go back to 1990, when Pedro Almodovar was filming ‘Tacones Lejanos‘. Diva Becky del Paramo has twisted problems. Judge Dominguín is investigating the death of her son-in-law, also her former lover. But Dominguín is not what he appears to be. By night, he mutates into a drag queen, singing Becky’s songs on playback and falling in love with her daughter. This drag queen’s artistic name is Femme Letale.

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She is not a fatale or a fatality. She is lethal, a police officer, and enforcer. You do know that one of my favourite films ever is Die Hard, right? Letale ventriloquises Becky, she borrows her voice like I borrow many. Her choice is to perform. She is a gay icon, yet, not homosexual herself, complicated, incoherent in melodrama, which makes it all coherent. She overacts, but she also investigates. She can be hysterical when she wants, dress up, wear wigs. She is an introvert extrovert. Both. Yes, both. You can see how she can be therapeutic.

Posted in Blog, Inspiration, Seductive people, Writing


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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.