This book analyses Darwin’s influence on art and the effect of his science on experiences of beauty. The first chapter discusses Darwin’s great forerunner, Alexander von Humboldt, and his contribution to thinking about the relationship between science and beauty. The second examines the public reception of Darwin in Germany, focusing on the German Naturalists and the important scientific controversies which Darwin’s idea provoked. It shows the political use of science (Häckel and Virchow) and foreshadows present-day debates between Darwinism and Creationism, science and an idealized view of nature.
Against this background the book shows the effect of Darwin on three important fields: the perception of landscape in major writers (Zola, Lawrence, Jacobsen, Benn and Brecht) before 1920; the portrayal of wild life, as revealed in bird-painting; and the understanding of the relationship between the human body and character.
The book brings together for the first time Darwin’s
The Expression of Emotion with the work of major European novelists (Eliot, Gutzkow and Freytag), focusing on the place of the older understandings contained in physiognomy, which Darwin challenged, on the portrayal of ethnicity, and on debates about acting, including for the young Brecht.
Collage Culture develops a comprehensive theory of the origins and meanings of collage and readymades in modern and postmodern art, literature, and everyday life. Demonstrating that the origins of collage are found in assembly line technologies and mass media forms of layout and advertising in early twentieth-century newspapers,
Collage Culture traces how the historical avant-garde turns the fragmentation of Fordist production against nationalist, fascist, and capitalist ideologies, using the radical potential unleashed by new technologies to produce critical collages. David Banash adeptly surveys the reinvention of collage by a generation of postmodern artists who develop new forms including cut-ups, sampling, zines, plagiarism, and copying to cope with the banalities and demands of consumer culture. Banash argues that collage mirrors the profoundly dialectical relations between the cut of assembly lines and the readymades of consumerism even as its cutting-edges move against the imperatives of passive consumption and disposability instituted by those technologies, forms, and relations.
Collage Culture surveys and analyzes works of advertising, assemblage, film, literature, music, painting, and photography from the historical avant-garde to the most recent developments of postmodernism.