Laura Gonzalez

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The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith**** — 30 Aug 2015

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Reading dates: 05 – 31 August 2015

As I was finishing the edit of my new book Make Me Yours, I came across the chapter that discusses Tom Ripley, so I thought I would re-read the Ripliad. My experience of the first novel in the series was similar to the first time I read it, if not better. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a mediocre book to begin with, a little ruthless in its treatment of women, a little hateful, but which turns sublime about mid-way though. I don’t know why I like it so much. The writing is not extraordinary and I am sure other novels depict Italy more vividly. Yet, there is something about Tom Ripley’s insanity that I find so compelling … This is not identification, or perhaps it is, at an unconscious level. I, too, would like to get away with the worse.

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Nineteen Eighty-Three by David Peace***** — 5 Aug 2015

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Reading dates: 02 July – 05 Aug 2015

Sometimes, while reading the Red Riding Quartet (of which Nineteen Eighty-Three is the last book), I thought I would not make it. The intensity of that narrative made me get up and pace the room, uttering ‘fuck!’. It is relentless, dark and brilliant, but it messed and manipulated me, a little like Lars von Trier’s films do.

The last volume is as well written as the rest, with three alternating narrators telling the story mostly in first, second and third person. Quite an achievement. In addition, the novel has the added pressure of having to wrap up all the threads weaved, and to do so in a satisfactory way. Often, this is where crime novels fail. David Peace does it well and by that I mean he does not overdo it. When reading the last 10% of the book, I often though ‘but, of course!’ when a detail, unexplained in Nineteen Seventy Four, was revealed. The quartet is a masterpiece, no question, a set I will be re-reading and studying with care when I get to write my own crime novel. Many out there are ok, but this is genius.

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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.