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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathDoll-Bodies

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relation between art and politics, and the reflection of Surrealist experiments with media productions can be thematicized.

One can view today's increasing use of the doll motif as a symptom, i.e. understand it within the scope of a cultural analysis as a reference to discussions on contemporary body images that are situated somewhere between advertising, cosmetic surgery and gene technology. Or one can see it not lastly as a confrontation with the new, seemingly bodiless war technologies and the new wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which are mediated in the Western world by television images.

The return of the repressed

In this respect, the scrutiny of the doll may also possibly represent a «return of the repressed» (Hal Foster)—a return of the repressed traumata of two world wars and the insight gained by psychoanalysis in the twenties into the central meaning of the compulsion to repeat and of the death drivefor the constitution of the subject. [11]

The theses put forward by the American art


historian Hal Foster historically situate Surrealism and its artistic experiments in the period after World War I and also consider them to indicate the processing of encounters with war neurotics and their compulsive repetition of the horrors of war. These encounters by Surrealist artists, e.g. in 1916 by Breton, who worked with war neurotics as an assistant in the neuropsychiatric clinic in St. Dizier, did not enter the official history of Surrealism. They are, as it were, its repressed «primal scenes» and according to Hal Foster go along with a dismissal of Freud's conceptualization of the death drive. Freud developed his concept on the latter subsequent to his thoughts on the uncanny and on the occasion of his own encounter with war neurotics. The Surrealists—above all Breton—had equated the concept of the unconscious with a concept of freedom [12] into which the idea of (unconscious) compulsion could not be integrated. [13] The current interest in Surrealism at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first century can thus also be understood as a repetition of unresolved historical encounters within which current problems and questions are thematicized and

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