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Bound Objects and Blurry Boundaries: Surrealist Display and (Anti)Nationalism

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This paper examines the use of Native American objects in Surrealist strategies of display in order to interrogate larger issues of identity, place and nation. The 1942 "First Papers of

This paper examines the use of Native American objects in Surrealist strategies of display in order to interrogate larger issues of identity, place and nation. The 1942 "First Papers of Surrealism" exhibition, organized by Andre Breton and Marcel Duchamp in New York City, is both grounded in the specificity of time and place that it occupied and emblematic of the international Surrealist exhibitions the movement staged from the mid-1930s onward. These shows, often designed as multi-sensorial environments, showcased an international display of art, ranging from painting, sculpture and photography by artists more or less closely affiliated with the Parisian Surrealist group to non-western objects, folk art, art of the insane, and children’s art.

Invariably displaced, the Native American objects, “which the Surrealists particularly appreciate,” function on a number of levels in the movement’s collective activities: both representing and performing Surrealist aims while inscribing it within the larger American landscape. New World attitudes toward Amerindian cultures and art inform Surrealism as it winds through the fabric of the real and imaginary spaces of the Americas. The exhibitions, as “contact zones,” thus establish a point of convergence and transit, an in-between space of “dwelling in travel,” a borderless spatial construct enacting the complexity and dynamism of the Surrealist project.

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  • 2008

The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 1 No. 1 (2007)

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The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 1 No. 1 (2007) - Table of Contents

"Introduction to the Journal" by Samantha Kavky, Claudia Mesch, and Amy H. Winter, p. i-iii.

"Anti-Surrealist

The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 1 No. 1 (2007) - Table of Contents

"Introduction to the Journal" by Samantha Kavky, Claudia Mesch, and Amy H. Winter, p. i-iii.

"Anti-Surrealist Cross-Word Puzzles: Breton, Dalí and Print in Wartime America" by Julia Pine, p. 1-29.

"William Carlos Williams’ A Novelette: an American Counterproposal to French Surrealism" by Céline Mansanti, p. 30-43

"The Vernacular as Vanguard: Alfred Barr, Salvador Dalí, and the U.S. Reception of Surrealism in the 1930s" by Sandra Zalman, p. 44-67

"Ben Cobb, Anarchy and Alchemy: The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky" by David Church, p. 68-71

"Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted" by Marta Julia Clapp, p. 72-76

"Robert Desnos, Surrealism, and 'Poetic Politics'" by Terri J. Gordon, p. 77-80

"Dali and the Specter of Cinema" by Frédérique Camille Joseph-Lowery, p. 81-84

"Julia Kelly's Art, Ethnography and the Life of Objects: Paris, c. 1925-1935" by Susan Power, p. 85-90

"The Janus-faced Legacy of Joseph Beuys" by Tatjana Myoko von Prittwitz, p. 91-93

"A.J. Meek, Clarence John Laughlin: Prophet Without Honor" by Jeffrey Ian Ross, p. 94-98

 

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  • 2007

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