Laura Gonzalez


23 Jul 2015

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (translated by Stephen Mitchell)*****


Reading dates: 14 May – 22 July 2015

Neil and I started reading The Dhammapada together. We abandoned it. We then started the Tao Te Ching, and we kept at it. It was a very enjoyable experience to read this book aloud, one or two chapters each night while feeling the echoes of our voices and the teachings of the master afterwards. I liked it very much, and would like to re-read it to absorb more of what it can give. I am also reading Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and my mind is beginning to understand and bear these threads of wisdom both texts weave. They are very different from the books I normally read: argued, contended and densely expressed. The Tao, the way, is open and generous, a practice in doing, as well as in reading. Here’s my favourite chapter, which helped me so much when I was in the 2015 New Jammers programme ran by @TheGlasgowJam, thinking about facilitating contact improvisation (a rather complex thing you can read about here):

Can you coax your mind from its wandering
and keep to the original oneness?
Can you let your body become
supple as a newborn child’s?
Can you cleanse your inner vision
until you see nothing but the light?
Can you love people and lead them
without imposing your will?
Can you deal with the most vital matters
by letting events take their course?
Can you step back from you own mind
and thus understand all things?
Giving birth and nourishing,
having without possessing,
acting with no expectations,
leading and not trying to control:
this is the supreme virtue.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading

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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.