Undercover Surrealism: Georges Bataille and DOCUMENTS / Edition 1

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Overview

In the Paris art world of the 1920s, Georges Bataille and his journal DOCUMENTS represented a dissident branch of surrealism. Bataille—poet, philosopher,writer, and self-styled "enemy within" surrealism—used DOCUMENTS to put art into violent confrontation with popular culture, ethnography, film, and archaeology.

Undercover Surrealism, taking the visual richness of DOCUMENTS as its starting point, recovers the explosive and vital intellectual context of works by Picasso,Dalí, Miró, Giacometti, and others in 1920s Paris. Featuring 180 color images and translations of original texts from DOCUMENTS accompanied by essays and shorter descriptive texts, Undercover Surrealism recreates and recontextualizes Bataille's still unsettling approach to culture. Putting Picasso's Three Dancers back into its original context of sex, sacrifice, and violence, for example, then juxtaposing it with images of gang wars, tribal masks, voodoo ritual, Hollywood musicals, and jazz,makes the urgency and excitement of Bataille's radical ideas startlingly vivid to a twenty-first-century reader.Copublished by Hayward Gallery Publishing,London

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Art historian Ades, the author of several books on Surrealism and Dadaism, and Baker (art history, Univ. of Nottingham), a member of the editorial group of the Oxford Art Journal, here tell the story of the late 1920s Paris journal DOCUMENTS, which existed for only two years. Formed by a group of dissident surrealists (including philosopher and novelist Georges Bataille) who believed in achieving surrealism by examining reality rather than delving into the subconscious, the journal published not only Bataille's essays but also articles about archaeology and ethnology, Hollywood and numismatics, and modern art (especially that of Picasso) and eccentric photographs. The authors examine all of the journal's major thematic elements, and the art that appeared in its pages here appears in reproductions (some as seen in the original magazine, others in color illustrations). Detailed and scholarly, this book may be too challenging for those unfamiliar with the artistic and intellectual milieu of France between the wars. Recommended for large academic libraries serving faculty and graduate students. Amy K. Weiss, Univ. of California Lib., Santa Barbara Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262012300
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/11/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 818,166
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dawn Ades is the author of a number of books on dada, surrealism, and related topics, including Dada and Surrealism Reviewed,Photomontage, and Salvador Dalí. She is Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Board Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies at the University of Essex.

Simon Baker is Lecturer in Art History at The University of Nottingham and a member of the editorial group of the Oxford Art Journal.

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