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Remedios Varo's Mexican Drawings

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The Spanish painter Remedios Varo spent the years of 1941-1963 in exile in Mexico. It is here that she produced her most inventive work, a fusing of various European and

The Spanish painter Remedios Varo spent the years of 1941-1963 in exile in Mexico. It is here that she produced her most inventive work, a fusing of various European and indigenous influences and motifs, generating a new form of Surrealism that would come to be regarded as a seminal contribution to Latin American modernist practice and particularly important to the development of Mexican Surrealism.

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  • 2010

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Légitime Défense: From Communism and Surrealism to Caribbean Self-Definition

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Eight Martinican students living in Paris announce their struggle for literary and political agency in the 1932 declaration Légitime defense. Explicitly indebted to Communism and Surrealism, the declaration appropriates these

Eight Martinican students living in Paris announce their struggle for literary and political agency in the 1932 declaration Légitime defense. Explicitly indebted to Communism and Surrealism, the declaration appropriates these movements’ rhetoric and redirects it to their own condition. Although Communism and Surrealism’s revolutionary zeal and opposition to the 1931 Colonial Exposition in Paris position them as apt models for the students, their platforms both work to reinscribe the non-Western within a primitivist binary. Through their use of the manifesto, the Martinican students enter into an aesthetic and political debate from a position of authority, both poaching their predecessors’ authority and initiating their own historical trajectory. By defining the Martinican subject within the legacy of Marx and Breton, the eight signatories situate themselves at the intersection of political and artistic revolutionary politics that both reinscribe and resist European distinctions between center and periphery, civilized and primitive, self and other.

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  • 2010

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Out of Field (Fuera de Campo): Marcel Duchamp in Buenos Aires

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This essay is an excerpt from Fuera de campo: Literatura y arte argentinos después de Duchamp (Edition Anagrama, 2006). The book opens with a reconstruction of Duchamp's nine months stay

This essay is an excerpt from Fuera de campo: Literatura y arte argentinos después de Duchamp (Edition Anagrama, 2006). The book opens with a reconstruction of Duchamp's nine months stay in Buenos Aires in 1918. Proposing a “Duchamp effect” on Argentine literature and arts as a kind of narrative thread, the book then focuses on three central transformations in the arts of the twentieth century: the impact of reproduction, the conceptual turn, and the interaction of visual and verbal representations in literature and the visual arts. Each chapter of the book opens with a “close up” of one or more of Duchamp's works, and then reads important Argentine writers and visual artists through this lens, from Borges, Cortázar and Manuel Puig, to Ricardo Piglia, César Aira and Guillermo Kuitca.

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  • 2010