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a hitherto obscure publication, is part of the reason why Luca’s contribution to the category of the surrealist object has until now rarely been acknowledged.40 Le vampire passif is divided into two unequal parts, with the first and shorter section devoted to an “Introduction to the Objectively Offered Object.” This essay, more didactic in tone and at times apparently modeled on psychoanalytic writings, locates the origins of Luca’s interest in the object in a collective game of the Objectively Offered Object (O.O.O.), in which participants devise and ceremonially bestow upon each other ritual objects that mark a kind of unconscious but concrete transaction between individuals, undermining the stultified conventions of conventional gifts and object exchange. A set of examples follows, each accompanied by an image, a description and analysis. The illustrations are rarely adjacent to the relevant text but are scattered throughout the whole book, as if already to suggest their wayward, selfgoverning identity. Dusk, for example, comprising a cushion from which hang a pair of large doll’s legs with a small doll’s hand dangling between them, and on which is sewn yet more arrays of pen nibs (75 this time), is destined for Victor Brauner, prompted by an earlier present of two nibs from the artist.

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Luca’s activity as an object maker does not seem to have featured in any of the books and catalogues around the surrealist object; at least one of Le vampire passif’s objects, the “found self-portrait” in metal with which it opens, does appear to have survived, since at the time of writing it is advertised for sale on AbeBooks.co.uk (again that tension between book and object) by a Parisian bookseller.

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Profile for Contra Mundum Press

Gherasim Luca Centenary Issue  

Essays and reflections in English and French on Romanian surrealist Gherasim Luca, including Luca's own texts and art. Also featuring rumi...

Gherasim Luca Centenary Issue  

Essays and reflections in English and French on Romanian surrealist Gherasim Luca, including Luca's own texts and art. Also featuring rumi...

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