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    Art up for grabs

    Leslie, Esther (2022) Art up for grabs. In: Teige, K. (ed.) The Marketplace of Art / Commentary. Dijon, France: Les pressses du reel. ISBN 9789526938981.

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    Karel Teige writes of the art market. This market sounds like it could be a place of encounter and randomness, of junk and treasures piled high, offering the promises of surprising discoveries. The name market evokes jumbled goods on stalls tightly packed, unexpected segues of goods and sounds and smells, the sort of place where the Surrealists found unwanted, tossed away debris, the stuff of their dreams, odd finds, poignant rescues, salvages from others rejectamenta. In the market, the Surrealists deranged their senses and found puncturing moments of joy amidst the discards. Banality is beautified. Everyday life is a playground. But to read all those associations into the word market pulls the word towards the flea market. The bazaar of which Teige writes is just another trading place and commerce is mostly deathly dull. Teige’s original Czech title used the word jarmark ,from the German term Jahrmarkt. Such a fair, in Mediaeval times, took place once a year, tied often to a day of religious significance, and could occur only after the approval of a King or emperor or some such overlord. Local traders and those who had travelled over great distances came to set up stalls and sell wares. By the time Teige wrote his essay in 1936, the yearly fair was not a crucial part of the life of any settlement, but was just a regular amusement, a small part of the life of the city. Nothing much could emerge from it, except for some laughter and screams, some time-passing, a few bruises, and a lot of noise. The fun is motorised. The screams are imitations. The thrills on the roller coaster are pitiable substitutes for real, stomach-churning adventures. But this is not the market or fair that Teige has in mind, as such.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Depositing User: Esther Leslie
    Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2022 11:52
    Last Modified: 21 Nov 2022 11:52


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