Blueprint for a Ghost

Engagement activity: External performance, talk or presentationTalk for a mainly non-academic audience (e.g. for the general public, community or industry)

Laura Gonzalez (Invited speaker), 23 Oct 2017

The synoptic table of hysterical symptoms is an index of tiny drawn shapes set out in columns, like a manuscript of some kind. It was developed under Dr Charcot at the Salpétrière hospital in Paris in the nineteenth century. These drawings categorise the stages of 'La grande hysterie'. A few years later, Sigmund Freud, Charcot’s pupil, popularised the writing format of the clinical case history, revealing not only conditions and treatments, but the profound relation between patient and analyst, a relation mediated by transference. But Charcot’s inscription of symptoms, as Freud’s narrations, is a text that speaks in the doctor’s voice: ‘Période de clownisme, Période des attitudes passionelles, Période de délire’. And yet she is miming something beyond what the images and words capture. In order to find out what this something beyond words and drawings is, I have developed an intersemiotic translation method for 'gHosting' hysteria (hosting a ghost) and rediscovering the patient’s voice within the historical and hysterical material. I apply the method to the creation of performance work.

In this Exchange Talk, Laura will give you a quick overview of her practice, before discussing, in depth, her work on hysteria.


TitleExchange Talk
Date23/10/17 → …
LocationRoyal Conservatoire of Scotland
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionLocal event