My visit to Moscow's Maiakovskii Museum serves as starting point for an exploration, informed by Peter Bürger's Theory of the Avant-Garde, of the influence of the Russian avant-garde and poet Vladimir Maiakovskii's role within this movement. It also queries the essentialism and functionality of the museum dedicated to him, as well as the personal experience of my visit.
Andrew A. Gentes
On the Wider Import of a Distinction Debora Silverman Develops in Van Gogh and Gaugin
This essay seeks to extend Debora Silverman's distinction between van Gogh's project of "spiritualizing the material" and Gauguin's related but opposed one of "dematerializing the world" to a wider range of modernist and avant-garde projects. It employs this distinction in connection with Astradur Eysteinsson's analysis of the problems of using such terms as modernism, the avant-garde, and postmodernism in relation to realism and the various revolts against it that have taken place since the age of romanticism. Eysteins-son's general approach is followed, but also in part questioned and given a different direction through discussions of Duchamp, the surrealists, Baudelaire, and Rimbaud.
An Epilogue to Van Gogh and Gauguin: the Search for Sacred Art
Kenneth E. Silver
Silverman's intent is to emphasize the "critical role of religion in the development of modernism." As an addendum to that pursuit, it should be pointed out that, well into the twentieth century, religion remained crucial to artistic innovation and development (and still is). We now recognize how important apocalyptic imagery was to Wasily Kandinsky's abstraction. In the wake of the Second World War, and French occupation by the Germans, religion made a powerful reappearance in the art of the avant-garde. Henri Matisse's Chapel of the Rosary at Vence is one of the great works of this period; it is worth briefly examining the ways in which Matisse understood the intersection between modern art and his reengagement with Catholicism.
This issue of Projections ranges across the avant-garde cinema, tear-jerking melodramas, the nature of historical trauma, and narratives that assume playful, game-like formats and that may be found in title sequences and trailers.
Marie Cartier, Tad Shull and John Ireland
Marie Cartier La Dactylographie et l’expéditionnaire: Histoire des employés de bureau (1890-1930) by Dephine Gardey
Tad Shull Between Montmartre and the Mudd Club: Popular Music and the Avant-Garde by Bernard Gendron
John Ireland La Naissance du phénomène Sartre: Raisons d’un success 1938-1945 by Ingrid Galster
An Interview with Anke Feuchtenberger
Mark David Nevins and Anke Feuchtenberger
Anke Feuchtenberger is a German avant-garde cartoon artist (b. 1963) with a strongly caricatural style. In this interview she discusses her childhood and education in former East Germany, historical influences upon her - including Rodolphe Töpffer - and current inspiration, as well as creational techniques and work in progress. In a further section the artist provides direct analysis of several of her publications.
Gender and History in Josephine Herbst's Trexler Trilogy
In representing the past, Herbst continues the realist tradition, utilising the form of the classical historical novel, which, as Georg Lukács describes it, represents the historical past as the ‘concrete prehistory of the present’.2 In ‘reconstruct[ing]’ herself, however, Herbst also deploys avant-garde formal techniques that interrupt the linear narrative chronology with what she called ‘interpretive inserts’.3 Thus, the form of Herbst’s trilogy reveals relationships between history and subjectivity, and the public and the private, that challenge the typical modernist repudiation of the significance of history and the privileging of the private over the public.
Written against the backdrop of Brexit, this short article examines the long history of British disregard for modernist and experimental avant-garde aesthetics, one frequently commented upon by critics and artists over the past century. In What Ever Happened to Modernism? Josipovici added his voice to this chorus, but his focus on British insularity went unremarked by reviewers. In addition to considering this more recent text, the article lingers over Josipovici’s ‘English Studies and European Culture’, an essay written in the 1970s that presciently explores the symbiotic and primary relationship between England and the continent.
In memory of my friend Diane Dietchman Tong (1943–1998), an independent scholar who wrote her MA on the Judeo-Spanish language commonly called Ladino. There is a rumour in my family that when I was born in 1940 my parents thought about sending out a card that would read, 'Now we present our son Dick, one part kike, some parts spic'. Politically correct before everyone else, so avant-garde were they, my parents decided instead to print a more conventional announcement of my arrival.
The four films Jean Vigo made between 1930 and 1934 bridged transitions from silent to sound formats and from avant-garde experiments to what he called a social cinema grounded in a documented point of view. This article studies traces of this social cinema in Vigo's 1930 documentary A propos de Nice (Regarding Nice) and his 1934 feature L'Atalante (1934). Links to Parisian surrealism and to leftwing anarchism marked these films as inspiration for postwar filmmakers and critics including André Bazin, François Truffaut, Alain Resnais, and Chris Marker. The government censorship imposed on his Zéro de conduite (Zero for Conduct, 1933) was a test case for similar suppression of postwar films by Resnais, Marker, and René Vautier. Ongoing myths surrounding Vigo and his work persist in the forms of a film prize and research institute, both of which bear his name.