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Traditional narratives hold that the art and architecture of the Iberian Peninsula in the late 15th century were transformed by the arrival of artists, objects, and ideas from northern Europe. The year 1492 has been interpreted as a radical rupture, marking the end of the Islamic presence on the peninsula, the beginning of global encounters, and the intensification of exchange between Iberia and Renaissance Italy.
This volume aims to nuance and challenge this narrative, considering the Spanish and Portuguese worlds in conjunction, and emphasising the multi-directional migrations of both objects and people to and from the peninsula. This long-marginalised region is recast as a ‘diffuse artistic centre’ in close contact with Europe and the wider world. The chapters interweave several media, geographies, and approaches to create a rich tapestry held together by itinerant artworks, artists and ideas.
Contributors are Luís Urbano Afonso, Sylvia Alvares-Correa, Vanessa Henriques Antunes, Piers Baker-Bates, Costanza Beltrami, António Candeias, Ana Cardoso, Maria L. Carvalho, Maria José Francisco, Bart Fransen, Alexandra Lauw, Marta Manso, Eva March, Encarna Montero Tortajada, Elena Paulino, Fernando António Baptista Pereira, Joana Balsa de Pinho, María Sanz Julián, Steven Saverwyns, Marco Silvestri, Maria Vittoria Spissu, Sara Valadas, Céline Ventura Teixeira, Nelleke de Vries, and Armelle Weitz.
In the history of the twentieth century, Futurism marked the birth of the avant-garde and major artistic and literary changes. Although it first appeared in Italy and Russia, it developed in Poland between 1918 and 1929. The vast documentation and texts, most of them previously unpublished, that we have brought together in this volume constitute the most complete collection ever published on Polish Futurism. A rich critical apparatus and iconography from the 1920s complete the work.

Dans l'histoire du XXe siècle, le futurisme marque la naissance des avant-gardes et des grandes mutations artistiques et littéraires. S'il apparaît d'abord en Italie et en Russie, il se développe en Pologne entre 1918 et 1929. La vaste documentation et les textes, pour la plupart inédits que nous avons réunis dans ce volume constituent l'ensemble le plus complet jamais édité sur le futurisme polonais. Un riche appareil critique et une iconographie des années 1920 complètent l'ouvrage.
The Myth of Hercules and Omphale in the Visual Arts, 1500–1800
The book examines the myth of Hercules and Omphale/Iole which became an important topic in the visual arts, 1500–1800. It offers an analysis of the iconography from the perspective of the history of emotions, classical and Neo-Latin philology, reception and gender studies. The early modern inventions of the myth excel in a skilful display of mixed and compound emotions, such as the male character's psychopathology, and of the theatrical performance of emotions by the female character.
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Abstract

This article opens with a discussion of contemporary avant-garde art, which according to many critics distinguishes itself by a turn to history, that is by a (seemingly paradoxical) backward-looking stance. Relativizing the ‘newness’ of this turn to history and the past in early twenty-first-century avant-garde art, the article then unearths the early twentieth-century avant-garde’s often neglected fascination with cultures that historically predate that of Europe. Zooming in on the historical avant-garde’s widespread interest in ancient Egypt in particular, the article highlights the “anarcheological impulse” that may well characterize the treatment of the (long-gone) past in all avant-garde exploits, be they early twentieth or twenty-first-century.

In: Journal of Avant-Garde Studies

Abstract

This article situates the French dancer and choreographer of color Nyota Inyoka’s Egyptian-inspired work within the context of modern Orientalist Egyptomania and relates her to the avant-garde. Drawing out Inyoka’s ambiguous positionality the article not only demonstrates how Inyoka’s work disrupted the phenomenon of Egyptomania, most notably in her performance Prière aux dieux solaires (Prayer to the Sun Gods) (1921), but also unearths the ways in which her work, as it performed ‘ancient Egypt,’ deserves to be held alongside related and more canonized avant-garde practices.

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In: Journal of Avant-Garde Studies
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In: Journal of Avant-Garde Studies

Abstract

This article examines Hedwig Fechheimer’s 1914 Die Plastik der Aegypter (Egyptian Sculpture) and Tristan Tzara and Étienne Sved’s 1954 collaborative book L’Égypte face à face (Egypt Face to Face) and how, bookending the classical European avant-garde period, both took recourse to ancient Egypt to explain their present moment. While Fechheimer approaches Egyptian artwork via a nascent Cubism, Tzara and Sved reflect on ancient Egypt through nostalgic, Dada-tinted lenses. The presents of Fechheimer, Tzara, and Sved were rife with anti-Semitism and conflict; while Fechheimer avoids politics entirely Tzara and Sved do have a poignantly political purpose. In both cases time is folded, challenging teleological conceptions of historicity.

In: Journal of Avant-Garde Studies

Abstract

This article deals with the building of an avant-garde identity in a peripheral European country by returning to a mythical past placed in Egypt. It focuses on the main promoter of Futurism in Portugal, Almada Negreiros, and on how his African roots played a part in the splitting of the self, a phenomenon that at the time was discussed widely in Fernando Pessoa’s circle and which Pessoa himself so dramatically put into practice with the creation of heteronymous identities. It demonstrates how Almada’s heritage was at once an instrument to perform Otherness—that is, a means to construct an identity as civilisation’s Other—and a gateway to accessing the creative origin of all selves through the connecting cipher of ancient Egypt.

In: Journal of Avant-Garde Studies
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Cinematic elements inform the aesthetic innovation of interwar American artists Aaron Douglas and Charles Dawson, particularly in the interplay between ancient Egyptian resources and modern visual expression. Cinema had developed an Egypthood, a set of concepts tying its picture-writing (hieroglyphics) to notions of preserving and reorganizing time (mummies) and an eloquence in compressing volume into surfaces (bas relief). Reaching for the pharaohs belonged within an urgent cultural politics, a campaign for beauty and regeneration against white supremacy. Cinema spoke to artists engaged with organizing eras across a flat surface. Through their compact spaces, and sometimes translucent historical jumps, Dawson and Douglas draw the Nile past forward in what Schomburg would call the use of the “reclaimed background.” Their complex rosters of spatial compression produce the aesthetic shock of historical compression, within a wider effort to transform and break open the Nile’s anchorage in the temporarily and culturally remote.

In: Journal of Avant-Garde Studies
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Abstract

In 1927, Michel Leiris embarked upon a five-month trip to Egypt and Greece. His text Aurora (1927–1928; pub. 1946), commenced during this journey, combines Surrealist approaches with fictional and documentary elements in an investigation of the ontological limits of the writing self. In Aurora, Surrealist automatism and elements of autobiography become epistemological demonstrations of being alive and facing the threat of impending death. Aurora experiments with thanatography, a written account of the death of the self. References to ancient Egyptian necropolis building and hieroglyphics inflect Surrealist automatism with a notion of the self as split between the living voice, death, and the multiplication of consciousness.

In: Journal of Avant-Garde Studies