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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3N964

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Objects of Desire: Surrealist Collecting and the Art of the Pacific Northwest Coast Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Wet'suwet'en
Tlingit
Tsimshian
Pacific Northwest Coast
Kwakwaka'wakw
Wolfgang Paalen
First Nations
Claude Levi-Strauss
Andre Breton
Archive
Collecting
Surrealism
Structural Anthropology
Kurt Seligmann
Convulsive Beauty
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Davis, Karl J
Supervisor and department
Harris, Steven (Art and Design)
Examining committee member and department
Lowrey, Kathleen (Anthropology)
Greer, Joan (Art and Design)
Department
Department of Art and Design
Specialization
History of Art, Design and Visual Culture
Date accepted
2014-01-22T13:58:08Z
Graduation date
2014-06
Degree
Master of Arts
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
This thesis is an examination of four figures connected to the surrealist movement: André Breton, Kurt Seligmann, Wolfgang Paalen, and the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss and their interest in art and objects from the First Nations peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. It includes case-studies of four specific objects that each of them collected: a Kwakwaka'wakw Yaxwiwe' headdress, a Wet'suwet'en Keïgiet totem pole, a Tlingit Chief Shakes Bear Screen, and a Tsimshian Shaman Figure, respectively. While recent scholarship fixes their interest in these objects to their backgrounds in anthropology, philosophy and theory, I will argue that the basis for their collecting was driven by 'surrealist desire' and that other considerations were secondary to this desire. I examine the history of surrealist collecting, the intersection of anthropology and surrealism, and the role of the 'primitive' object in surrealism.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3N964
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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File title: Introduction
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Page count: 108
File language: en-US
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