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Man Ray’s Lost and Found Photographs: Arts of the Americas in Context

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Man Ray’s virtually unknown photographs of a much celebrated Aztec birthing figure commonly identified as Tlazolteotl—the goddess of earth, sex, and childbirth in Aztec mythology—provide the springboard for exploring a

Man Ray’s virtually unknown photographs of a much celebrated Aztec birthing figure commonly identified as Tlazolteotl—the goddess of earth, sex, and childbirth in Aztec mythology—provide the springboard for exploring a body of little known photographs of non-Western objects the artist created in Paris in the 1920s and ‘30s. Integrating his images of objects from indigenous peoples of the “New World” into his photographic repertoire of other non-Western objects, this article reveals the context and manner in which art of the Americas became a vehicle for his creative expression alongside objects from Africa and Oceania. Turning his camera lens to such objects, Man Ray produced images that—through a symbiotic relationship of content and form— imbued the objects with the same modernist aesthetic he pioneered in his photographs. In so doing, he created a new type of photography that defies categorization and functions ambiguously in the gap between the ethnographic and the surreal. This body of images provides both a window into the way in which such cultural artifacts became enmeshed in transatlantic artistic practices of the interwar period and insight into the role of his photographic endeavors in that process. The recovery of Man Ray’s photographs of the “Tlazolteotl” figure from obscurity and the examination of his engagement with the indigenous arts of the Americas allow new assessment of the work of this artist and contribute to a comprehensive understanding of his innovative approach to photographing objects of non-Western art.

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  • 2008

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Surrealism and Photography: Introduction

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In keeping with the first two issues of the Journal of Surrealism and the Americas, this third issue aims to broaden the horizon of critical concerns to which the publication

In keeping with the first two issues of the Journal of Surrealism and the Americas, this third issue aims to broaden the horizon of critical concerns to which the publication is dedicated, turning our attention here to photographic contributions to the discourse of Surrealism and the Americas. Photography, of course, played a central role in surrealist practices since the movement’s inception, as the plethora of scholarship on the topic has underscored. It is thus not surprising that as the movement gained adherents across the Atlantic, the medium would find its calling in this new context as well.

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  • 2008

The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 2 No. 1 (2008)

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The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 2 No. 1 (2008) - Table of Contents

“Surrealism and Ethnography: Introduction” by Amy H. Winter, p. i-vi. 

“Totemic Landscapes and Vanishing Cultures Through

The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 2 No. 1 (2008) - Table of Contents

“Surrealism and Ethnography: Introduction” by Amy H. Winter, p. i-vi. 

“Totemic Landscapes and Vanishing Cultures Through the Eyes of Wolfgang Paalen and Kurt Seligmann” by Marie Mauzé, p. 1-24.

“Surrealist Visions of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica and the Legacy of Colonialism: the Good, the (Revalued) Bad, and the Ugly” by Keith Jordan, p. 25-63.

“Surrealism and Inuit Art: The Fascination of the Far North” by Florence Duchemin-Pelletier, p. 64-94.

“Bound Objects and Blurry Boundaries: Surrealist Display and (Anti)Nationalism” by Susan Power, p. 95-113.

“Man Ray’s Lost and Found Photographs: Arts of the Americas in Context” by Wendy Grossman, p. 114-139.

“T.J. Demos, The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp” by Bradley Bailey, p. 140-144. 

“The Dalí Renaissance: New Perspectives on His Life and Art after 1940 and Danser Gala: L’Art Bouffe de Salvador Dalí” by Mary Ann Caws, p. 145-146.

“Review of ‘The Art of Lee Miller’: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2007” by Peter Barberie, p. 147-151.

“Frida Kahlo in Philadelphia: Life and Death” by Samantha Kavky, p. 152-156.

“Thinking the ‘Post-Indian’: Remix: New Modernities in a Post-Indian World” by Claudia Mesch, p. 157-161.

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  • 2008

The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 2 No. 2 (2008)

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The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 2 No. 2 (2008) - Table of Contents

“Surrealism and Photography: Introduction” by Wendy Grossman, p. i-iv.

“‘Surrealistic and disturbing’: Timothy O’Sullivan as Seen by

The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 2 No. 2 (2008) - Table of Contents

“Surrealism and Photography: Introduction” by Wendy Grossman, p. i-iv.

“‘Surrealistic and disturbing’: Timothy O’Sullivan as Seen by Ansel Adams in the 1930s” by Britt Salvesen, p. 162-179. 

“‘As if one’s eyelids had been cut away’: Frederick Sommer’s Arizona Landscapes” by Ian Walker, p. 180-208.

“Clarence John Laughlin, Regionalist Surrealist” by Lewis Kachur, p. 209-226.

“A Swimmer Between Two Worlds: Francesca Woodman’s Maps of Interior Space” by Katharine Conley, p. 227-252. 

“Remembering Anne D’Harnoncourt” by Valery Oisteanu, p. 253.

“The 1930s: The Making of the ‘New Man’” by Julia Pine, p. 254-258.

“Beyond Bridges: The Cinema of Jean Rouch” by Robert McNab, p. 259-262.

“Review of Kirby Olson, ‘Andrei Codrescu and the Myth of America’” by Éva Forgács, p. 263-267.

“Review of Sally Price, 'Paris Primitive: Jacques Chirac’s Museum on the Quai Branly’” by Kate Duncan, p. 268-272. 

 

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  • 2008