Laura Gonzalez

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Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith *** — 7 Jun 2014

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Reading dates: 23 May — 7 June 2014

Sometimes, I crave reading about a place. The day I chose to start this book, my beloved Mackintosh Library burnt into disappearance and I needed comfort, something unwaveringly good, clear cut, easy, kind.

Library Library_May 14

Tears of the Giraffe is all of those things. I have never been to Botswana or Zimbabwe but McCall Smith (as does Muriel Spark) make me want to go. The book — a mixture of a novel and short stories, perhaps a novel made of short stories — is heavy in its morality, sometimes too much in your face, too didactic. Yet the characters, the repetitions of their names in particular, are like lullabies. They pacified my state of unrest, my sleeplessness. Sometimes, that is all I ask of a book: a bit of mothering. I read many at a time, for I am whimsical. I have my morning books, those I read with breakfast, my holiday books, my learned book (my reading list), and my comfort books, the ones I want in my dreams. Tears of the Giraffe and Mma Ramotswe are definitely in the last category: short, sweet, entertaining, effective and undemanding.

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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.