Thursday, October 16, 2008

two books

As the subject of surrealismology has been up here, let me recommend two new english-language books about surrealism:

Gavin Parkinson's "Surrealism, art and modern science" (Yale University press, 2008) A remarkably well-informed, broad and critically-minded academic book of surrealism, based on a doctoral thesis in art history but necessarily broad in scope in investigating what the developments within physics of the early 20th century (relativity and quantum physics) meant for surrealists, in outlook, theory and art alike, and in what shape it had a function to fill in surrealism. Especially refreshing is the author's irritation over all these ever-repeated vague analogies between modern physics and modern art in general terms of perspectives, sensibility or very newness, demanding that all such comparisons must be actually investigated on the epistemological level.

Nikos Stabakis's "Surrealism in greece - an anthology" (University of Texas press, 2008) For the first time in english a very substantial portion of creations of greek surrealists. But the point - in this particular context - is the introductions, where Nikos Stabakis of the Athens surrealist group lucidly formulates questions and observations on the particular conditions for surrealism in a peripheral country, in a partly very specific and partly highly generisable way which could teach us one or two lessons in how to look for objective surrealism and how to sharpen local interventions in a variety of contexts.

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