Surrealist Aftershocks: Artaud, Freud, and Mirrors of the Surreal Schism
Surrealism may be our last, near-global artistic movement that took seriously the integrity of the art-maker and expressed as its purpose the same goals as that of an organized radical politics, and for this it deserves to our attention. Antonin Artaud, a disgraced Surrealist but later appreciated, would have the greatest impact on reimagining the “mystical stage” of performance and drama in the 20th Century and beyond it. This paper connects Artaud's legacy with that of the Surrealists, as well as that of Sigmund Freud, and in doing so finds value and relevance in Antonin Artaud's work as it explores a range of aesthetic, cultural, and political issues. After analyzing concepts of the Surrealists' connection to aesthetic and psychoanalytic theories, this paper explores, via Artaud, the limits of the performative subject, placing a special importance on the issue of representation, via lesser-known essays on mirrors and doubles, to illuminate these parallel issues.
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