Undercover Surrealism: Georges Bataille and DOCUMENTS: 1st (First) Edition
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doctrine, in which 'Persian dualism' and judaeoOriental heterodoxy' had introduced the 'most impure fennents' into 'Greco-Roman ideology', points to the geopolitical thrust of most of the archaeology in DOCUMENTS. The rg2os vvere a time of great anxiety on the French right about the dangers of the East. Colonial revolt, Bolshevism and German instability merged in the nationalist self-image into an excluded Eastern bloc of atavistic formlessness, disintegration and revolution, against which stood
trained painters generally kept their distance from tllis incipient art market - as one of them told Griaule, tl1ey were ' not used to that t)1Je of work' ('Illustrated Legend of the Queen of Sheba', A Spread from DOClHviENTS, 7, lg3o B Anon , 1Hichd Lciris duriug the DaknrDjibouli Mission, t:. lg3 1- 32 (ca t. 17) C Anon, Marcd Griauft, a/ Arldis Ababa, lg33 (cat. 16) 1 11> 1/IEIL Dll L'llTHNOGRAPBil A I, I930). In his contributions to DOCillt!ENTS, Griaule refers to two Ethiopian painters.
all their charm And then stripped spikes appear crucifixion of a false-collared accountant on the columns of his balance sheet remains of a bedroom the mouldings stripped of gilt vertebrae dragged by the brackish tlde rags of worn-out clothes, the warp thread showing through, lit up as fish-bones sometimes are in the cloudy waters of abysses resonant bones transmit eddl8s and transform them pincer after pincer (fresh water pincer, isn't that a splend1d instrument?) into gentle songs which nestle
horrible images, to the great guiding ideas which give to ordered peoples the consciousness of human authority, were also incapable of discerning clearly the magical value of the regular forms presented on the coins that came their way. Yet a perfect casting and intelligibility, implying the impossibility of introducing absurd elements, were as little to their taste as police regulations are to the pleasures of the criminal classes. In fact, it was a question of what had necessarily paralysed the
\·Valkcr, Gil)• Gorged with Dreams: Surrealism and Documental)• Plwtograpi!J• in lntenvar Paris, i\•Ianchester University Press, ~v!anchester, 2002. ]. Williams, Th.e l/lus/raltd Bea/us: A Corpus qf Illustrations qf tire Commenlal)' on the Apocaf;pse, 5 vols, Harvey i\ofiller Publishers, London, I994· W\\'\\~surrealismcentre.ac.uk LIST OF WORKS 263 262 UNDERCOVER SURREAliSM LIST OF WORKS All n1easuremcnts are in centimetres, height x width x depth. Page references are to illustrations in