Poetry News

Performa Pre-Game: The Exclusive Surrealist Reader

By Harriet Staff


Hyperallergic is doing us sensitive good today, offering an exclusive look at RoseLee Goldberg's Performa Surrealist Reader. As they write:

During the press preview for Performa 13, the performance biennials’s founding director and curator RoseLee Goldberg spoke about how she prepares an informal reader for each Performa as a way to help the performers and audience to understand a certain aspect of performance art history. This year, Goldberg prepared a Surrealist Reader. While surrealism is not an official theme of Performa 13 it is one of the many threads that informs this year’s program.

As a critic with a particular interest in performance art, I was intrigued by what this reader contained and I requested a copy to publish on Hyperallergic.

Below we’ve listed all the articles in the Surrealist Reader along with excerpts from each text. I hope you explore some of the texts in full, but until then here’s a taste from each.

Excerpts include text from Roussel, Breton, and Foucault, and criticism from standbys like Mary Ann Caws and more obscure entrants like the piece by M.E. Warlick, “The Occultation of Surrealism,” an excerpt from Max Ernst and Alchemy: A Magician in Search of a Myth. Plus an entire section on Black Surrealism. Find it all here. And of course we love the image at the top of their article: Costumes by Sonia Delaunay for Tristan Tzara’s Le Coeur à gaz, revived for the Soirée du Coeur à barbe at the Théâtre Michel, 6-7 July 1923. Ours, more Delaunay: Abstract Diagonal Composition no. 1733, 1925, gouache on paper, private collection, © L & M SERVICES B.V. The Hague 20100623; Photo: © private collection. Courtesy of Design Milk.

Originally Published: October 7th, 2013