Blackening Surrealism: Ted Joans’s Ethnographic Surrealist Historiography
- 6:00 pm
22 February 2021
Online | Free
This event explores the significant interventions made by African American artists, writers, and activists into Surrealism’s post war currency in the US.
Foremost among them was Ted Joans, who collaborated with the Parisian circle of Surrealists during the 1960s, and later joined the Chicago group of Surrealists. Joans is better known as a writer from the Beat generation, but this event explores his visual practice as a space through which he worked out multiple, and often competing allegiances to Surrealism, the Beats, and the Black Arts Movement.
It focusses on his collage novel The Hipsters in particular which draws on the collage practice of Max Ernst to depict a satirical, pseudo-ethnographic account of the everyday life of beatniks and hipsters in Greenwich village, New York, in the early 1960s.
Dr Joanna Pawlik argues that in Joans’ collage work, surrealism itself might function, and indeed be regenerated, as an ethnographic object itself, out of place and out of time in post war North America.
Ted Joans, ‘The White Hair Revolver Is Still Loaded’, 1963. Assemblage of various objects on oil painting on canvas, 33 × 24.1 cm. © Laura Corsiglia / Estate of Ted Joans. Photo: Constance Krebs, Association Atelier André Breton.
Dr Joanna Pawlik is lecturer in the department of Art History at the University of Sussex (2014-). From 2008 to 2011 she taught in the Department of Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Manchester, collaborating with the AHRC Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies and contributing to its three-year project Surrealism and Queer Sexualities in particular. She received a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in 2011 and the resulting monograph, Remade in America: Surrealist Art, Activism and Politics 1940-1978 will be published by University of California Press in Spring 2021. She received a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2020/21 for her new project ‘Figuring fascism in American art, 1945–1980’. She has published widely on surrealism, post war American art and visual culture, transnationalism, regionalism, and little magazines.
The platform and log in details will be sent to all registered attendees at least 48 hours before the event. Please note that registration closes 30 minutes before the event start time.
Header image by surrealism artist Damon Davis – ‘Darker Gods’ solo exhibition, 2016.