Tag: Surrealism

Film As A Subversive Art
by Amos Vogel

The now scarce 2005 reprint edition of one of the greatest books on film. A classic returns! The original edition of Amos Vogel’s seminal book, Film as a Subversive Art was first published in 1974, and has been out of print since 1987. According to Vogel–founder of Cinema 16, North America’s legendary film society–the book details the “accelerating worldwide trend toward a more liberated cinema, in which subjects and forms hitherto considered unthinkable or forbidden are boldly explored.”
So ahead of his time was Vogel that the ideas that he penned some 30 years ago are still relevant today, and readily accessible in this classic volume. Accompanied by over 300 rare film stills, Film as a Subversive Art analyzes how aesthetic, sexual and ideological subversives use one of the most powerful art forms of our day to exchange or manipulate our conscious and unconscious, demystify visual taboos, destroy dated cinematic forms, and undermine existing value systems and institutions. This subversion of form, as well as of content, is placed within the context of the contemporary world view of science, philosophy, and modern art, and is illuminated by a detailed examination of over 500 films, including many banned, rarely seen, or never released works.
This 2005 edition, published by D.A.P./C.T. Editions, also quickly went out of print and it has not been available since.

Includes Luis Buñuel, Dusan Makavejev, Luis Buñuel, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Connor, Roman Polanski, Vera Chytilova, Alfred Hitchcock, Carolee Schneemann, Peter Watkins, Tony Conrad, Jonas Mekas, Andrei Tarkovsky, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Bresson, Luchino Visconti, Chris Marker, Federico Fellini, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Kate Millett, John Cassavettes, Shuji Terayama, William Klein, Russ Meyers, Louis Malle, Woody Allen, Yoko Ono, Michelangelo Antonioni, Agnes Varda, Walerian Borowczyk, Andy Warhol, Ingmar Bergman, Jacques Rivette, Sergei M. Eisenstein, Ingmar Bergman, Lindsay Anderson, Roberto Rossellini, Marguerite Duras, Charlie Chaplin, Paul Morrissey, Joseph Losey, Otto Muehl, Hans Richter, Fritz Lang, Jean Genet, Kenneth Anger, Maya Deren, Jean-Luc Godard, Frans Zwartjes, Arrabal, Jack Smith, Stan Vanderbeek, Werner Herzog, Morgan Fisher, Jean Renior, Michael Snow, Robert Frank, Jan Svankmajer, Sam Peckinpah, Paul Sharits, Akira Kurosawa, Yoko Ono, Orson Welles, Frederick Wiseman, Ken Jacobs, Martin Scorcese, Jean Cocteau, Manuel Octavio Gomez, Stanley Kubrick, Norman McLaren, Albert Maysles and David Maysles, to name only a few of the hundreds of film-makers whose works are featured in this essential film book.

* Condition: Good (tight, clean copy throughout with only light creasing to covers and light wear) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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Displaying the Marvelous
Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali, and Surrealist Exhibition Installations

Surrealism in its late phase often abandoned neutral exhibition spaces in favor of environments that embodied subjective ideologies. These exhibitions offered startled viewers an early version of installation art before the form existed as such. In Displaying the Marvelous, Lewis Kachur explores this development by analyzing three elaborate Surrealist installations created between 1938 and 1942. The first two, the “Exposition Internationale du Surrealisme” (1938) and the “Dream of Venus” at the New York World’s Fair (1939), dealt with the fetishization of the female body. The third, “First Papers of Surrealism” (1942), focused not on the figure but on the entire expanse of the exhibition space, thus contributing to the development of nonfigurative art in New York. Kachur presents a full visual and verbal reconstruction of each of the exhibitions, evoking the sequence that the contemporary viewer would have encountered.

The book considers Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dali, two artists who are not usually compared, within a common framework. Duchamp specialized in frustrating the spectator, using his ironic wit to call into question the definition of the work of art. Dali was a master at disorienting the senses by establishing and then undermining everyday spatial and object properties. The Surrealist challenge, as voiced by Andre Breton, was to evoke the marvelous. Duchamp and Dali extended that challenge to the physical and commercial realm of the exhibition installation.

About the Author
Lewis Kachur is Associate Professor of Art History at Kean University, New Jersey.

“Lewis Kachur hands us a free time-travel ticket, with himself as marvelous pilot. Transporting us into the thick inventions of late Surrealist exhibitions, he gives us the ravishing gift of being there, present at the birthing and, as well, the seeding of so much installation and site-specific art to come decades later. For artists now who feel tied to Grandfather Marcel without having known him, Kachur’s work vividly opens up the real moves of Duchamp’s reinvention of what it is to be an artist. Revealing secret interior paths of communication among artists that flow synaptically across generations, this sumptuous work points to a new holistic way to understand art.”
—Mierle Laderman Ukeles, artist

“A splendid analysis of the late Surrealist exhibitions. Anyone interested in Surrealist art would want this book; anyone interested in the consideration of display in twentieth-century art must have this book.”
—Richard Martin (1945-1999), former curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Perceptive, fascinating, and written with pleasure and delight. The reciprocal exchange between art work and its context is presented with a steady, at times inspired, sense of inquiry.”
—Brian O’Doherty, writer

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The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp
by T.J. Demos


Marcel Duchamp was a famous expatriate, a wanderer, living and working in Paris, New York, and Buenos Aires and escaping from each in turn. But exile, argues T. J. Demos in this innovative reading, is more than a fact in Duchamp’s biography. Exile–in the artist’s own words, a “spirit of expatriation”–infuses Duchamp’s entire artistic practice. Duchamp’s readymade constructions, his installations for surrealist exhibitions in Paris and New York, and his “portable museum” (the suggestively named La boite-en-valise), Demos writes, all manifest, define, and exploit the terms of exile in multiple ways. Created while the artist was living variously in New York, Buenos Aires, and occupied France during the global catastrophes of war and fascism, these works express the anguish of displacement and celebrate the freedom of geopolitical homelessness. The “portable museum,” a suitcase containing miniature reproductions of Duchamp’s works, for example, represented a complex meditation–both critical and joyful–on modern art’s tendency toward itinerancy, whereas Duchamp’s 1942 installation design entangling a New York gallery in a mile of string announced the dislocated status that many exiled surrealists wished to forget. Duchamp’s exile, writes Demos, defines a new ethics of independent life in the modern age of nationalism and advanced capitalism, offering a precursor to our own globalized world of nomadic subjects and dispersed experience.

T. J. Demos is a Lecturer in the Department of History of Art, University College London and the author of The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp (MIT Press, 2007). His essays have appeared in such journals as Artforum, Grey Room, October, and Texte zur Kunst.

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Meret Oppenheim
Arbeiten von 1930-1978 / Works from 1930-1978


Incredible monographic catalogue produced on the occasion of the exhibition “Meret Oppenheim – Arbeiten von 1930 – 1978” at Galerie Levy in Hamburg, September 11 – November 11, 1978.
Forming an amazing, visually-rich and valuable partial catalogue raisonné document, this volume collects, page by page, 205 of the exceptional works by one of the world’s most independent artists of the twentieth century, German-born Swiss Surrealist artist Meret Oppenheim. Includes her sculptural objects, paintings, drawings, prints, collages, furniture, and more, all reproduced in colour and black and white. Includes a short introduction in German alongside a number of portraits of Oppenheim by Man Ray.
A highly recommended collection.

Méret Elisabeth Oppenheim (6 October 1913 – 15 November 1985) was a German-born Swiss Surrealist artist. Oppenheim was a member of the Surrealist movement of the 1920s along with André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Max Ernst, and other writers and visual artists. Besides creating art objects, Oppenheim also famously appeared as a model for photographs by her friend Man Ray.
A a young age Oppenheim discovered the writings of Carl Jung, a friend of her father’s, and was inspired to record her dreams in 1928. Her dreams would serve as important sources for much of her art throughout her life. The work of Paul Klee, the focus of a retrospective at the Kunshalle Basel in 1929, provided another strong influence on Oppenheim, arousing her to the possibilities of abstraction.
In 1932, at the age of 18, Oppenheim moved to Paris and met Hans Arp and Alberto Giacometti, who after visiting her studio and seeing her work, invited her to participate in the Surrealist exhibition in the “Salon des Surindépendants,” Paris. Oppenheim later met André Breton and began to participate in meetings at the Café de la Place Blanche with the Surrealist circle. The conceptual approach favored by Marchel Duchamp, Max Ernst, and Francis Picabia became important to her work. She continued to contribute to Surrealist exhibitions until 1960. Many of her pieces consisted of everyday objects arranged to allude to female sexuality and feminine exploitation by the opposite sex. Oppenheim’s paintings focused on the same themes. Her originality and audacity established her as a leading figure in the Surrealist movement.
Méret Oppenheim’s first one-woman exhibition in the Galerie Sohulthess, Basel featured surrealist objects. In 1937, Oppenheim returned to Basel and this marked the start of her artistic block. She struggled after she met success and worried about her development as an artist. Méret Oppenheim usually worked in spontaneous bursts and at times destroyed her work. Oppenheim took a hiatus from her artistic career in 1939 after an exhibition at the Galerie René Drouin started by Rene Drouin in Paris. In the exhibition she was featured alongside many artists, including Leonor Fini and Max Ernst. She did not share any art with the public again until the 1950s. Oppenheim then reverted to her “original style” and based her new artworks on old sketches and earlier works and creations.
Méret Oppenheim’s best known piece is Object (Le Déjeuner en fourrure) [Object (Breakfast in Fur)](1936). The sculpture consists of a teacup, saucer and spoon that the artist covered with fur from a Chinese gazelle. It was purchased by Alfred Barr for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and included the museum’s first surrealist exhibition Fantastic Art: Dada and Surrealism in 1936. Oppenheim was willing to sell the piece for one thousand francs, but Barr only offered her $50 and she accepted. This was the first piece of art that the museum acquired, and Oppenheim became known as the First Lady of MoMA. The enormous success of this early work would later create problems for Oppenheim as an artist. Soon after its creation she drifted away from the Surrealists.
In 1937, Oppenheim returned to Basel, training as an art conservator in order to ensure her financial stability. This marked the beginning of a creative crisis that lasted until 1954. Although she maintained some contact with her friends in Paris, she created very little and destroyed or failed to finish much of what she created.
In 1956, Oppenheim designed the costumes and masks for Daniel Spoerri’s production of Picasso’s play Le Désir attrapé par la queue in Berne. She and artist Lilly Keller were cast as the curtains. Three years later, in 1959, she organized a Spring Banquet (Le Festin) in Bern for a few friends at which food was served on the body of a naked woman. With Oppenheim’s permission, Andre Breton restaged the performance later that year at the opening of the Exposition inteRnatiOnale du Surrealisme (EROS), at the Galerie Cordier in Paris. Outside its original intimate setting, the performance was overly provocative and Oppenheim felt her original intention for the work was lost.
In the 1960s, Oppenheim’s home base of Bern became much more important as an art center. She continued to live and work there, as well as at a second home in Carona, Italy (1968), and maintained a studio in Paris starting in 1972. She was an important figure in feminist debates in the early 1970s, although she refused to identify as a feminist.
In 1983 Oppenheim designed The Spiral Column (Spiralsaule), unofficially known as “Meret Oppenheim Fountain,” on the Waisenhausplatz in Bern. A tall concrete column wrapped with a garland of grass over a small watercourse, the fountain provoked a petition for its removal. In 1985 City of Paris commissioned Spiral (Nature’s Way) [Spirale (Gang de Natur) from Oppenheim for the Jardins de l’ancienne Ecole polytechnique on the Montagne Ste. Genevieve near the Pantheon. The work was based on a 1971 model and finished posthumously a few months after Oppenheim’s death in 1986.
Levy Galerie, founded in 1970 by Hamburg resident Thomas Levy, represents the estate of Meret Oppenheim, in close collaboration with the artist’s family.

* Condition: Fine (a tight, clean copy) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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