Minor Aesthetics

The Photographic Work of Marcel Mariën

Mieke Bleyen (Author),

Series: Lieven Gevaert Series 17

Category: Art, Media and Visual Culture, Photography

Language: English

ISBN: 9789058679680

Publication date: June 10, 2014

€39.50 (including 6% VAT)

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Size: 230 x 170 x mm

Number of illustrations: 50

Illustrations and other content description:
12 illustrations in color Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Stock item: 90797

Standard delivery time for print books:

For Belgium: 5 to 8 working days

For EU: 2 to 3 weeks

For other countries: 4 to 5 weeks


New perspectives on Belgian Surrealism and the photographic practices of Marcel Mariën.

Marcel Mariën (1920–1993) was a key figure of Belgian post-war Surrealism. He is widely acknowledged for his landmark work on Belgian Surrealism and his collaboration with future Situationists like Guy-Ernest Debord in his journal ‘Les Lèvres nues’. Nevertheless, Mariën’s texts, collages, photographs, film, and (art?) objects have to date remained understudied. This is the first volume devoted to Mariën’s photographic work. Through a series of close readings, Mieke Bleyen connects the collage and photographic practices of Mariën with his wider oeuvre, particularly with his archival and editorial activities. By applying Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept of the ‘minor’, this book proposes an alternative reading of Mariën’s anti-aesthetics and focuses on the affective range of his work. The figure of Mariën also serves as a case study that offers new perspectives on Belgian Surrealism’s relation to mainstream Surrealism and the role of photography within Surrealism. This volume, moreover, raises a critique on ‘major’ art history’s conception of time as linear progression and argues instead for twisted and extended temporalities in the case of Marcel Mariën. With previously unpublished images from Mariën’s private archive.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Acknowledgements Prologue
Part 1 Towards a Minor Photography Minor Literature Deterritorialization Politicization Collectivization The people to come A canon of minor masters and other reflections on the minor
Deleuze and Guattari’s Cartography of Art A Minor History of Art? Minor Photography. First Reflections
Part 2 Les Lèvres nues. A Minor History of Surrealism A Post War View of Constantin Meunier’s The Docker Invisible monuments A surrealist displacement of monuments Surrealism and its political turn: deconstructing the representation of labor
Les Lèvres nues. Continuing the Interwar Project of Paul Nougé Writing as act Poetry as experiment Let us create disturbing objects Between affect and effect: looking for accomplices Re-writing: the fragmentary work of authorial effacement Angèle Laval: a model of minor writing? Les Lèvres nues. A Post War Enterprise Le pas du commandeur: second stanza Lettrist/Situationist texts in Les Lèvres nues Collaboration under the sign of Potlatch
Leisure As Battlefield Mariën’s scenario for a global revolution Le Club des Loisirs From production to consumption: leisure as battlefield Surrealist versus situationist ‘tactics’ On (un)mediated activity
Part 3 Rhizomatic Readings. Minor Ways Of BeginningDefense and Illustration of the French Language. A Rhizomatic Reading A destabilization of text and image relationships Subverting narrative Traveling the Mariën rhizome Collective assemblage of enunciation
Surrealism in Crisis. Or How To Deal With the Apparatus of Capture Toutes ces dames au salon Les corrections naturelles: a critical dissection of a Surrealism in crisis Magritte and Mariën: a mutual betrayal
Caught Between the Historical and the Neo-Avant-Gardes A ‘failed’ historical avant-garde versus an ‘empty’ neo-avant-garde Hal Foster’s new genealogies New genealogies, new geographies Mariën and Broodthaers: two ways of dealing with the art institution Mariën’s ambiguous relation with the art market and the art institution
Queer Temporalities. The ‘Minor’ Position of Marcel Mariën Minor ways of beginning again Queer temporalities: queer belonging Queering the archive Part 4 Minor Photography. Minor AestheticsWoman Ajar. 100 Photographs of Naked Women Affecting photographies Situating Woman Ajar within feminist theory Surrealist photography 1: molar grids and molecular flows Surrealist photography 2: courtly love and sadism
Always in the Middle. Photographic Stuttering and Stammering Art and porn Amateur and professional Private and public L’évidence énigmatique
Traps Against Capture. Minor Aesthetics The rugged terrain of humor: humor as surface effect
Minor Contexts of Display Private spaces of display Mediating between private house and gallery: photography and the printed page
Color Section
Notes Part 1. Towards a Minor Photography Part 2. Les Lèvres nues. A Minor History of Surrealism Part 3. Rhizomatic Readings. Minor Ways of Beginning Part 4. Minor Photography. Minor Aesthetics
Bibliography List of abbreviations References

Mieke Bleyen

Mieke Bleyen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art and Visual Culture and the Institute for Cultural Studies at the KU Leuven.

KU Leuven-;based scholar Mieke Bleyen succeeds in integrating several important achievements in 'Minor Aesthetics: The Photographic Work of Marcel Mariën'. Within the first study dedicated to the photographic practice of a prolific Belgian Surrealist (1920-;1993), she raises a number of pertinent questions, such as the importance of queer studies and feminist criticism for a better understanding of Surrealist visual arts.Additionally, as the title suggests, Bleyen develops a strong theoretical argument through the notion of minor literature, grounded in the writings of French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, to unpack different pressing issues in the scholarship concerned with art history, including its problematic insistence on interpretation and linear progression. Bleyen combines rigorous archival research with a solid critical enquiry to put forward a rich and referential volume that can be engaged with as a valuable source of information and otherwise inaccessible visual material, as well as a welcome instance of a more inclusive approach to the work that is not easily fitted in the existing art historical categories.
Jelena Stojkovic (2015): Minor aesthetics: the photographic work of Marcel Mariën, Visual Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2015.1024519

'There’s a tiny handful of things on Mariën in English. Mieke Bleyen’s 'Minor Aesthetics: The Photographic Work of Marcel Mariën' is particularly helpful. She reads him in a Deleuzian vein as a ‘minor’ artist, spilling out and past the coherent subjectivities of the poet or the artist.'
McKenzie Wark, Public Seminar, January 27, 2016

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