Download From Fetish to Subject: Race, Modernism, and Primitivism, by Carole Sweeney PDF

By Carole Sweeney

Was once smooth primitivism complicit with the ideologies of colonialism, or was once it a multivalent come upon with distinction? studying race and modernism via a much wider and extra traditionally contextualized research, Sweeney brings jointly quite a few released and new scholarship to extend the dialogue at the hyperlinks among modernism and primitivism. Tracing the trail from Dada and Surrealism to Josephine Baker and Nancy Cunard's Negro: An Anthology, she exhibits the improvement of n?©grophilie from the curiosity in black cultural varieties within the early Twenties to a extra critical engagement with distinction and representations within the Thirties. contemplating modernism, race, and colonialism at the same time, this paintings breaks from conventional limitations of disciplines or geographic areas.Why was once the primitive so well known during this period? Sweeney indicates how excessive, renowned, and mass cultural contexts developed primitivism and the way black diasporic teams in Paris challenged this development. integrated is examine from unique archival fabric from black diasporic guides in Paris, reading their demanding situations to primitivism in French literature and state-sponsored exoticism. The transatlantic stream of modernism and primitivism is also a part of this wide comparative research.

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Additional resources for From Fetish to Subject: Race, Modernism, and Primitivism, 1919-1935

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Generally speaking," he has noted, "modern art repudiates most of the techniques of pleasing devised by the great artists of the past" (Predicament 264). Further, for the new art, "[T]he subject no longer counts," a fact reiterated by Habermas when he located the beginnings of this modernist sensibility in the nineteenth-century work of Baudelaire. Modernist art, Habermas has said, rejected the idea of realist reproduction: "Color, lines, sounds and movement ceased to serve primarily the cause of representation; the media of expression and the techniques of production themselves became the aesthetic object" (10).

These blacks feed our double taste for exoticism and mystery.... We are charmed and upset by them, and most satisfied when they mix something upsetting in with their enchantments" (qtd. in Rose 48). The combination of a mysterious "upsetting" element of blackness mixed with an enchantment that could transport the viewer to another temporal and spatial locale where the present was made less solid. The primitive was a conductor of history that allowed a "practical critique of the imperatives of white civilisation" amidst "the maelstrom of modernity itself" (Schwartz 182).

White negrophile interest in black cultural forms cannot be caricatured as either evidence of interwar metropolitan racism or liberal tolerance. It is not a question of distinguishing the good, or progressive, racial imagery of negtophilie from the bad, or retrogressive; rather the challenge is to recover some of the complicated inscriptions and uses of negtophilie. This critical position does not in any way ignore the underlying violence of the colonial encounter that ideologically and historically underpins the discourse of primitivism at this time.

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