Laura Gonzalez


29 Dec 2016

Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith ****

Reading dates: 16—19 December 2016

While on holiday in India, and after reading ‘His Bloody Project’, nothing could satisfy me. I started ‘Crime and Punishment’ for the third time but was often more enthused by the clumsy bat and ball game next to me. Then I remember a conversation I had with Rob Wringham about the Ripliad and how I read the first of the five books relatively recently. So I found a reading project to complete: to read them in order. The second in the series is wonderfully gripping, with plenty of what makes Highsmith’s writing come alive: the details of the murders themselves, Ripley’s worry, his high life, the cities he travels too. It is a perfect holiday read, with intrigue, dubious morals and art forgeries. It is also written in Highsmith’s efficient style, which I find quite unique. It is evocative and, while I don’t consider it poetic or beautiful, it does what it needs to do for the main character. Her creation of Tom Ripley is an absolute success and in this book he comes alive (where in the previous one seemed still a bit of a caricature to me, just a calling card and origin story). I am already on to the next one, of course.

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.