Laura Gonzalez


Hegemony And Socialist Strategy: Towards A Radical Democratic Politics by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe — 19 Sep 2015


Reading dates: 30 July–18 September 2015

Ian chose this book for our Dialectical Materialism book group. It is an excruciatingly difficult book. I did not finish it and what I read, I am not sure I understood. Yet, the discussion was fascinating. We talked about classical marxism, labour power as commodity, surplus value, the point de caption, Trostky-ism, Podemos, Siriza, Corbyn, the referendum and imagination and, of course, Hegemony. It reminded me of the time when I saw the worst film I have ever seen (Outlaw) and had a fascinating conversation with Neil about cinema. Why do we go to our book group? It is certainly not to read easy, pleasurable works. I think we do it to disentangle knots, and, despite the fact that I don’t know what chapters two and three of Laclau and Mouffe’s book are about (I only read chapter one and half of four), I feel a few of my knots were made loser.


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Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner *** — 19 Sep 2015


Reading dates: 01–18 September 2015

I have been wanting to read contemporary novels for a while and Neil recommended me Ben Lerner’s work. It is a really interesting book, oppressive in its self-consciousness at times (that was so successful) but where the narrative gets clumsy towards the end. There is an attempt at resolution in the last five pages which, when not much happens, makes it fall flat. I say nothing happens, but, of course, there is a terrorist attack and a lot of protest, which the protagonist experiences from the computer in his apartment a few metres aways from it all. The remove is always there in the writing and that is what makes it work.

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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.