Hal Foster: Compulsive Beauty
Compulsive BeautyHal FosterMIT Press, 1993
Surrealism has long been seen as its founder, Andre Breton, wanted it to be seen: as a movement of love and liberation. In Compulsive Beauty, Foster reads surrealism from its other, darker side: as an art given over to the uncanny, to the compulsion to repeat and the drive toward death.
Compulsive Beauty not only offers a deconstructive reading of surrealism, long neglected by Anglo-American art history, it also participates in a postmodern reconsideration of modernism, the dominant accounts of which have obscured its involvements in desire and trauma, capitalist shock and technological development.