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2002). His influence on other artists can be seen in the works of the late French artist Arman, Theodore Brauner (brother of Victor Brauner), Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Daniel Spoerri, and many others. His other important book, The Passive Vampire (1945),3 is a mixture of theoretical treatise and breathless poetic prose, personal confession and scientific investigation. There he unveiled a tenet of what he thought of as the psychology of the Surrealist movement, a concept he labeled OOO: “the objectively offered object.” He defined this as an object constructed while the maker was thinking of the person for whom it was intended, thus infusing the piece with a certain feng shui of its own. But he considered this a complex karmic love-hate message with the potential of inducing a recipient to become unhealthily obsessed with the gift. In L'art surréaliste, Luca’s friend, the French art-critic Sarane Alexandrian, applied the meaning of OOO directly to art, stating that the electricity created by images, such as “an eye mounted on the metronome," à la Man Ray, or a doll giving birth to an identical doll head with a dozen double-edged razors stuck in her skull, à la Ghérasim Luca, became part of a dream-domain inhabited by grotesque, disturbing creatures, the image or construction destined for eternity as a nightmarish art-object. At times taking shape as assemblages, these OOO’s are meant to capture chance in its dynamic and dramatic forms and illuminate the continual connection between our love-hate tendencies and the world of things, when offering presents or mementos to others. The “diabolic power” with which these objects are imbued is our repressed desire and sexual fantasy transferred onto an “objectively offered object,” using shamanistic-like techniques, where desire becomes the reality of desire. Dreams thus penetrate into real life, changing the relations among people according to the desire materialized in the object.

                                                                                                              3

This was translated into English by Krzysztof Fijalkowski and published by Twisted Spoon Press in 2008.

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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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