Laura Gonzalez


30 Jan 2016

Kill your friends by John Niven***


Reading dates: 11–29 January 2016

In every difficult, worthwhile endeavour there will come a point when the easiest course of action is to abandon forward motion, to allow inertia to take over and to return to the status quo. It is the brave and great man who, upon recognising this point, resists inertia and smashes through to the far side. No matter the cost. I call this juncture the critical moment of will.
Hauptman, Unleash Your Monster (a fictional self-help book in ‘Kill Your Friends’).

This novel was the perfect antidote to ‘Little Dorrit’. Bold, gutsy, funny and relentless, the writing follows Steven Stelfox, a music A&R guy, as he lives one year of his life in coke, sex and intrigue. All of this is portrayed vividly and crassly and I learned more words for cocaine and sex positions I will ever need. He is an unlikely hero, a little John Self, a little Tom Ripley, a little Patrick Bateman. The work of the character is so internal, though, I am not sure if making it into a film would ever be successful. Literal would not work and the only possible solution would be cinematic license, as in ‘Blade Runner’ or ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’. The book is funny, enjoyable and contemporary, perfect in its non-sense and, hopefully a little romantic in its idea of what it is to be in the music industry. I say romantic as a defence for myself, I suppose. I am not sure if I would be able to stand its pace.

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.