luni, 19 septembrie 2011

CFP: Wonderful things, Surrealism and Egypt

Call for Contributors:

Dada/Surrealism special journal issue:

"Wonderful Things" - Surrealism and Egypt


In November 1922 Howard Carter opened the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt's

Valley of the Kings, the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th

century. This discovery triggered an enormous Egyptomanic craze in Europe

and America, evident across architecture, the arts and popular culture. This

special issue of Dada/Surrealism ( will mark

the 90th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb by evaluating

Egypt’s significant and diverse impact on surrealism.

This influence can be traced throughout surrealism’s diverse artistic

productions and manifestations, as Martine Antle notes: “among all the

countries of the Middle East, Egypt remained the country of predilection for

surrealism throughout the vanguard period” (2006). Sphinxes, pyramids, eyes

of Horus and other Egyptian figures and symbols play significant roles in

the artworks and writings of Lee Miller, Man Ray, Georges Bataille, Robert

Desnos, Leonora Carrington, Roland Penrose, Jane Graverol, Joyce Mansour,

Marcel Duchamp, Alberto Giacometti and Gordon Onslow Ford. Desert landscapes

and hieroglyphic inscriptions are a recurrent theme in works by Leonor Fini,

Kay Sage, Max Ernst, Joseph Cornell, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, André

Breton, Victor Brauner and many other surrealists'works.

Egypt's significance for surrealism is also evident in Breton's display of

Egyptian ornaments on the famous mur of his studio. Surrealist reading

included books such as Antoine-Joseph Pernety's Les fables égyptiennes et

grecques (1758), Ludwig Achim von Arnim's Isabelle d’Égypte (1812), Émile

Soldi-Colbert de Beaulieu's La langue sacrée - La cosmoglypie (1902), and

Arthur Rimbaud's Lettres de Jean-Arthur Rimbaud: Égypte, Arabie, Éthiopie

(1899). Surrealists were highly interested in R. Falconnier's Egyptian tarot

and his writings on it. A recurring focus for surrealists and their

associates was the obelisk at the Place de la Concord. Described by Bataille

as "without a doubt the purest image of the head and the heavens", it was a

significant meeting place for Acéphale, and a repeated focus in Brassaï’s

photographs and Benjamin Péret’s writings. In turn, surrealism developed in

Egypt through the Egyptian Georges Henein, who joined the movement in 1936

and whose establishment of the movement Art et liberté in 1937, together

with Ramsès Younane, Fouad Kamel and Kamel el-Telmessany, marks the first

beginning of surrealism in Egypt. Art et liberté regarded surrealism as the

"means to create a new mythology reconciling reality and legend."

Egypt marks a nodal point for a range of surrealist investigations into

myth, colonial identity, cultural hybridity, and for the movement's

dialogues with science and pseudo-science including ethnography,

psychoanalysis, physics, cosmology, and natural history. Surrealist

adaptations, appropriations of and exchanges with Egypt and its signs,

symbols and philosophies open significant questions about surrealist

aesthetic representations and political critiques of the 'orient', the

'exotic', colonialism and ancient civilizations.

This special issue invites essays that explore the significance of the

multiple relations, points of contact, dialogues, engagements and exchanges

between surrealism and Egypt.

Please send a 250-word abstract, tentative title and brief CV to the guest

editors Patricia Allmer at and Donna Roberts at by October 16th, 2011. Completed essays will be due

February 13th 2011, and should be between 6000-8000 words. For queries

please contact Patricia Allmer and Donna Roberts at the email addresses

above. For further information on Dada/Surrealism please visit (Contact: Patricia Allmer and Donna Roberts)

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