Compulsive Beauty / Edition 1

Compulsive Beauty / Edition 1

by Hal Foster
     
 

ISBN-10: 026256081X

ISBN-13: 9780262560818

Pub. Date: 03/27/1995

Publisher: MIT Press

Surrealism has long been seen as its founder, André Breton, wanted it to be seen: as a movement of love and liberation. In Compulsive
Beauty
, Foster reads surrealism from its other, darker side: as an art given over to the uncanny, to the compulsion to repeat and the drive toward death.
To this end Foster first restages the difficult

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Overview

Surrealism has long been seen as its founder, André Breton, wanted it to be seen: as a movement of love and liberation. In Compulsive
Beauty
, Foster reads surrealism from its other, darker side: as an art given over to the uncanny, to the compulsion to repeat and the drive toward death.
To this end Foster first restages the difficult encounter of surrealism with
Freudian psychoanalysis, then redefines the crucial categories of surrealism -- the marvelous, convulsive beauty, objective chance -- in terms of the Freudian uncanny,
or the return of familar things made strange by repression. Next, with the art of
Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, and Alberto Giacometti in mind, Foster develops a theory of the surrealist image as a working over of a primal fantasy. This leads him finally to propose as a summa of surrealism a body of work often shunted to its margins: the dolls of Hans Bellmer, so many traumatic tableaux that point to difficult connections not only between sadism and masochism butal so between surrealism and fascism. At this point Compulsive Beauty turns to the social dimension of the surrealist uncanny. First Foster reads the surrealist repertoire of automatons and mannequins as a reflection on the uncanny processes of mechanization and commodification. Then he considers the surrealist use of outmoded images as an attempt to work through the historical repression effected by these same processes. In a brief conclusion he discusses the fate of surrealism today in a world become surrealistic. Compulsive Beauty not only offers a deconstructive reading of surrealism, long neglected by Anglo-American art history,
but also participates in a postmodern reconsideration of modernism, the dominant accounts of which have obscured its involvements in desire and trauma, capitalist shock and technological development.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262560818
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
03/27/1995
Series:
October Books
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
337
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface
1Beyond the Pleasure Principle?1
2Compulsive Beauty19
3Convulsive Identity57
4Fatal Attraction101
5Exquisite Corpses125
6Outmoded Spaces157
7Auratic Traces193
8Beyond the Surrealism Principle?209
Notes215
List of Illustrations299
Index305

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