Laura Gonzalez


The Unreliable Reader

Senate House image for publ

On Tuesday 15th October 2013, I presented my work ‘The Unreliable Reader’, as part of an event entitled Reading as Art: Turning the Pages of Psychology. This took place at the Senate House Library in London as it was part of the 2013 Bloomsbury Festival.

Dr Sharon Kivland and Mura Gosh, curators of the event, wrote:

Evoking a wind that blows through a library, opening books, prompting unexpected stories, this evening of readings, art, and performances engages with Victorian psychology from the library’s collections.

Other artists and writer in the event include: Debbie Booth, Kate Briggs, Jan Campbell, Jamie Crewe, Vincent Dachy & Bridget MacDonald, Karen David, Annabel Frearson, Rachel Garfield & Janet Hodgson, Chris Gibson, Jane Harris, Peter Jaeger, Kreider + O’Leary & Paul Bavister, Catherine Linton, Hayley Lock, Sophie Loss, John McDowall, Forbes Morlock, Hester Reeve, Naomi Segal, Sarah Sparkes, Holly Stevenson, Julie Westerman, Sarah Wood, Gillian Wylde

You can download the full programme here.

These are some images of the spaces, before the wind blew:


If you want to engage with words from books in the Senate House library collection, I am offering to read to you, one-to-one. I have chosen narratives, novels from the nineteenth century, and I will do all the work. You just need to listen, and to decide when to leave. Will you trust me? I am, like the characters I voice, unreliable. I may embellish, or mutilate the text. I certainly have a foreign accent and, sometimes, I mispronounce words.

As the wind was blowing, I read and read …

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And while I read, others worked:

_CPH7348 2013-10-15 19.11.26 _CPH7317 _CPH7403 _CPH7379 _CPH7394 _CPH7362 2013-10-15 19.04.27 _CPH7343

With thanks to Charles Harrowell an Mura Gosh for the images, to the artists for their work and to Sharon and Mura for the invitation.

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.