The Surrealists’ insistence on irrationality was not a sport, but an attempt to engage in the political debates of their time.
Isidore Isou’s Radical Quest to Reinvent Language
A sweeping retrospective at the Centre Pompidou surveys the work of the Romanian-born artist who founded the avant-garde Letterism movement in 1940s France.
France Declares 120 Days of Sodom Manuscript a National Treasure, Saving It from Auction
The French government has declared the original manuscript of the Marquis de Sade’s notorious novel a national treasure and forbidden its removal from France.
Two Thousand Years of Inuit Art Goes on Display at the Frieze Masters Art Fair
Dozens of objects make up Donald Ellis Gallery’s exhibition of art by the indigenous people of North America’s arctic region.
The Idiosyncratic Writings of Leonora Carrington, a Reluctant Surrealist
Three books by Leonora Carrington, including her memoir of her time at an insane asylum, reveal the artist’s specific vision of the world, which strayed from and defied Surrealism.
A French Surrealist’s Eclectic Remembrances of His Cohort, Finally in English
Phillipe Soupault delights in humanizing the celebrated with intimate particularization and paeanizing the obscure with encomium.
The Pompidou’s Permanent Collection, Reinstalled Along the Lines of Art Theory
PARIS — Where the newness of art comes from (when it comes) is something of a conundrum.
The Revolutionary Postcolonial Imagination of Surrealism
In 1945, Andre Breton traveled to the Haitian capital of Port au Prince to deliver a lecture on “Surrealism and Haiti.”
Blowing Smoke: Robert Wilson Agog Over Gaga in Louvre Show
PARIS — I was lucky enough, and I am old enough, to have been in the audience of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach in 1976 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, and then again at The Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1984.
Surrealism’s Fistfights and Adversarial Culture
An evening Dada revue organized by Tristan Tzara, July 6, 1923’s Soirée du Coeur à Barbe (Night of the Bearded Heart) was the site of an infamous altercation between Tzara’s associates and Surrealist don André Breton at the Théâtre Michel in Paris.
Surrealism in a Minor Key: Recent Translations of Ghérasim Luca
Considered through Deleuze and Guattari’s somewhat idiosyncratic interpretive lenses, Ghérasim Luca is a minor writer — minor in the sense that he relentlessly pushes language toward its limits, that he deterritorializes it, that he transmutes it from a mere instrument of representation into an extreme style of intensities. This is to say that Luca should not be deemed “minor” in any canonical sense — quite the opposite in fact — for within Deleuze and Guattari’s system of thought, to be called minor is an honorific of the highest order. This is also to say that Luca should be recognized, once and for all, as a figure on par with the other so-called “minor” auteurs within Deleuze and Guattari’s pantheon: Kafka, Beckett, Joyce, Pasolini, and Godard.
“Writing with Scissors”: Graham Rawle’s Woman’s World
Last month, the UK-based novelist Graham Rawle gave a lecture at Antenna Media Centre in Nottingham called “Writing with Scissors.” Writing with scissors — a synonymous phrase for textual collage — would seem to aptly describe the compositional process of Woman’s World, Rawle’s handsomely designed and cleverly concocted novel that was first published in Britain in 2005.