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Journal of Surrealism and the Americas (JSA)


The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas focuses on the subject of modern European and American intellectuals’ obsession with the “New World.” This obsession—the very heart of Surrealism—extended not only to North American sites, but also to Latin America, the Caribbean, and to the numerous indigenous cultures located there. The journal invites essays that examine aspects of the actual and fantasized travel of these European and American intellectuals throughout the Americas, and their creative response to indigenous art and culture, including their anthropological and collecting activities, and their interpretations of the various geographic, political, and cultural landscapes of the Americas. We furthermore intend to investigate the interventions / negotiations / repudiations of European/American or other Surrealisms, by indigenous as well as other artists, writers and filmmakers.

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Original publication is available at: Journal of Surrealism and the Americas


Date Range
1918 2020


Lautréamont became the preeminent forebear of Surrealism through his inclusion in the movement’s first political agenda, the Orient. His overseas origin predisposed the Surrealists to re-read his works from the perspective of their own anti-occidental thinking. This was possible only through the near-complete absence of biographical data that would have contradicted the figure they desired to see. This made the imagined Lautréamont extremely malleable, easily aligned with other desires after the short agenda of the Orient ceased. The Surrealists appropriated Lautréamont with increasing vehemence, fashioning him into a quasi-demigod, the utopian Surrealist fighting in their ranks. Again, no biographical data …

Contributors
Montua, Gabriel Götz
Created Date
2009

In the late 1940s, a handful of Native artists studying and working at the University of Oklahoma began to experiment with modernist styles such as Cubism, Expressionism, and most notably Surrealism. Chief Terry Saul, Richard “Dick” West, and Oscar Howe used their Master’s theses to depart from established, accepted styles of Native painting in order to explore the possibilities of Native expression. They were encouraged not only by their instructors, who dabbled with various Surrealist tendencies, but also by notable examples in the museum collection from William Baziotes, Byron Browne, Charles Howard, and Adolph Gottlieb. For the Native artists, Surrealism …

Contributors
White, Mark A.
Created Date
2013

Francesca Woodman's emphasis on practice and the narrative quality of her photographic series links her to surrealism. With the caption to one of her Providence photographs she visually explores André Breton's definition of automatic writing by reformulating it as a kind of play, at once musical, textual, and visual: "Then at one point I did not need to translate the notes; they went directly to my hands." Michel Foucault's reformulation of Bretonian automatism as a kind of writing concentrated on experience helps to situate Woodman clearly in the surrealist tradition. She takes a turn reformulating surrealist activity herself in the …

Contributors
Conley, Katharine
Created Date
2008
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Contributors
Duchamp, Marcel
Created Date
1918
Contributors
Ross, Jeffrey Ian
Created Date
2007
Contributors
Forgács, Éva
Created Date
2008

Introduction to the Cinema Issue

Contributors
Kavky, Samantha
Created Date
2017-08-07

While the earlier affiliation between Salvador Dalí and André Breton had been, for the most part, fruitful and amicable, by the early 1940s when both had relocated to America as exiles from the war in Europe, their relations had become decidedly acrimonious. This animus is graphically revealed in the textual record the two left behind, in the form of treatises, memoirs, popular articles, transcribed lectures and exegeses: documents which map Breton’s efforts to differentiate the Surrealist movement as defined by his own directive, from that of the “popular” variety of Surrealism associated almost exclusively with Dalí in the United States. …

Contributors
Pine, Julia
Created Date
2007

This essay analyses the 22:40 minute video Real Estate Astrology (2015) of Maxime Rossi (born in 1980), a contemporary artist's response to the life and work of the German born surrealist Max Ernst. Rossi sets out in this vide, produced in the color filter technique of anaglyph projection, to search for Ernst’s traces in Sedona, Arizona. The surrealist artist lived here in exile together with his wife, the American painter Dorothea Tanning, from 1946 to 1953. Maxime Rossi shows a predilection for historical artists, whose works he uses as a point of departure in his work, in which historical facts …

Contributors
Drost, Julia
Created Date
2019