“One night in 1923, notoriously hotheaded Surrealist Andre Breton hit the much smaller, less notorious Pierre de Massot with his cane. He did so because de Massot had, in his view, insulted the great Pablo Picasso.”
Forgive my ignorance, and I’m not sure I need your forgiveness, but I discovered the work of Shana Lutker this week while researching the better known Surrealists Rene Magritte & Salvador Dali. According to Lutker fistfights between artists of this time, particularly in Paris, were common place. But in the category of “manipulating the press” most of them were staged, and with a wink wink – nod the press managed to discover the date and time of these donnybrooks and covered the highly theatrical event.
I would have loved to witness that!
Three years ago Ms. Lutker paid homage to the Surrealists by creating “8 Chapters” focused on this group of artists. Chapters one through three was shown at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC and I was immediately smitten with her work. I’d love to meet this woman who said, “I’m interested in this moment someone’s fist hits someone else’s face.” They don’t make women like that anymore, I wonder if she’s available these days?
Evidently each chapter of Le “NEW” Monocle (I do think using French titles is pretentious) includes writing, a group of sculptures, and a performance. These three modes are parallel; as they don’t necessarily depend on one another. I love the concept, but for those two or three of you still reading this recondite treatise, it must be very expensive. I highly suspect wanna-be’s like myself would have to cut it back to a single chapter maybe two at most.
In reading her own account of her work much of her imagery were literally bits and pieces of the time period discovered while walking around Paris and DC. I get the impression Shana spends allot of time researching to give her work an historical foundation. Not only do I NOT have time to research beyond a cursory level, but I’d just as well not know if there’s any history associated with my work. That seems like a burden none of us need while in the creation mode.
As you pursue imagery that is yours and yours alone, remember that your work is worth fighting for! So the next time an unknowing idiot gives you a bad review—don’t hesitate to kick his/her ass!