Abstract: This essay examines Bela Li’s Argosy, Max Ernst’s collage novels and China Miéville’s The Last Days of New Paris in relation to an ideology of realism in which the recuperation of avantgarde praxis stands in direct relation to its de-sublimation of an aesthetics of sur-realism. In Li and Miéville’s solicitation of Ernst’s texts, among others, there is a deep ambivalence between the economy of a return to the origin as avant-primitivism and its affordances as (fundamentalist) reaction, in which the antipodeanism of Li’s refiguring of Surrealism describes an exemplary movement. Such antipodeanism also implies a critique of the somewhat paradoxical observation that, “As for the productions of peoples who are still subject to cultural colonialism (often caused by political oppression), even though they may be progressive in their own countries, they play a reactionary role in advanced cultural countries” (Debord, “Report on the Construction” 20).
Keywords: Dada; Surrealism; Situationism; Degenerate Art; détournement; revolution;
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