Appropriated Photographs in French Surrealist Periodicals, 1924-1939: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Appropriated Photographs in French Surrealist Periodicals, 1924-1939

1st Edition

By Linda Steer

Routledge

180 pages | 23 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781409437307
pub: 2016-07-18
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Description

The first monograph to analyze the Surrealist gesture of photographic appropriation, this study examines "found" photographs in three French Surrealist reviews published in the 1920s and 1930s: La Révolution surréaliste, edited by André Breton; Documents, edited by Georges Bataille; and Minotaure, edited by Breton and others. The book asks general questions about the production and deployment of meaning through photographs, but addresses more specifically the construction of a Surrealist practice of photography through the gesture of borrowing and re-contextualization and reveals something crucial both about Surrealist strategies and about the way photographs operate. The book is structured around four case studies, including scientific photographs of an hysteric in Charcot's clinic at the Salpêtrière hospital, positioned as poetry rather than pathology; and one of the first crime-scene photographs, depicting Jack the Ripper's last victim, radically transformed into a work of art. Linda Steer traces the trajectory of the found photographs, from their first location to their location in a Surrealist periodical. Her study shows that the act of removal and re-framing highlights the instability and mutability of photographic meaning an instability and mutability that has consequences for our understanding both of photography and of Surrealism in the 1920s and 1930s.

Table of Contents

Contents:

List of illustrations

Acknowledgments

1 Introduction: surrealism’s photographic unconscious

2 Picturing hysteria in La Révolution surréaliste: from pathology to ecstasy

3 Ethnography’s photographic unconscious in Documents: savagery in civilization/civilization in savagery

4 Aesthetics and horror: forensic photography in Minotaure

5 From the marvelous to the monstrous: photography and the past

6 Epilogue: the legacy of surrealist photographic appropriation

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Linda Steer is Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, Brock University, Canada.

About the Series

Studies in Surrealism

Studies in Surrealism
With scholarly interest in Surrealism greater than ever, the Studies in Surrealism series serves as a forum for key areas of Surrealist inquiry today. This series extends the ongoing academic and popular interest in Surrealism, evident in recent studies that have rethought established areas of Surrealist activity and engagement, including those of politics, the object, photography, crime, and modern physics. Expanding and adding various lines of inquiry, books in the series examine Surrealism's intersections with philosophical, social, artistic, and literary themes. Potential subjects to be examined in the context of Surrealism include but are not limited to: nature; queer studies; humor and play; science; theory in the 1950s and 1960s; the New Novel; Surrealist activities beyond Paris. Proposals are welcomed for both monographs and essay collections dealing with the above subjects or with discussions of Surrealism in other aspects and genres. Monographic writings on artists and writers who have been generally overlooked by English-language scholarship (for instance, Victor Brauner, Toyen, Jorge Camacho) would also fall within the scope of this series.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART000000
ART / General
ART015030
ART / European
ART015100
ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
HIS013000
HISTORY / Europe / France
HIS037070
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
PHO010000
PHOTOGRAPHY / History