Masks in Documents (1929-1930), an illustrated magazine Cover Image

Le masque dans la revue Documents (1929-1930)
Masks in Documents (1929-1930), an illustrated magazine

Author(s): Tomasz Swoboda
Subject(s): Media studies, Studies of Literature, Sociology of Art
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: mask; ethnology; Georges Bataille; Michel Leiris; Carl Einstein

Summary/Abstract: The masks in Documents should be read in a broad context, which goes beyond the columns of the journal to also embrace the birth of ethnology in France, the surrealist neighborhood but also the years to come, which will hardly see the development of ideas sketched in the magazine. At the same time, the presence of the masks highlights the disparate character of the journal itself, where the more or less ethnological texts devoted to the masks of traditional societies respond to much less academic articles in which the mask slips in the direction of the strange and monstrous. This allows to deconstruct Western aesthetics and, first and foremost, the human figure as its most codified and, therefore, most untouchable expression. The mask can even be considered as the embodiment of the concept of disparity which seems to govern the counter-aesthetic of the journal. Finally, the mask is emblematic of the internal gap in the journal, that between ethnologists and poets, or between academicism and subversion.

  • Issue Year: 2021
  • Issue No: 28
  • Page Range: 64-108
  • Page Count: 45
  • Language: French