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Collage and Montage in Literature and the Other Arts

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Organizer: Magda Dragu

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Collage and montage are prevalent terms in the life of the modern man. We use them daily, interchangeably, and profusely. However, this seminar proposes to investigate the relations between early avant-garde collage in the works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, other early avant-garde visual artists and poets using the technique, Guillaume Apollinaire, Kurt Schwitters, Tristan Tzara,  on the one hand, and the collages of later avant-garde artists from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, such as Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Motherwell, Joseph Cornell, and other Minimalist and Pop Art artists, on the other hand. The poems of Langston Hughes, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, William Burroughs, Frank O’Hara, and Bob Dylan, were also read as verbal collages. This seminar proposes to work towards a common definition of collage and montage across the arts based on specific case studies pertaining to these two techniques and their instantiations across the arts. More theoretical questions such as the relations between the visual collages and photomontages preceding the twentieth century and their twentieth-century manifestations are also welcome. All great thinkers of twentieth century wrote about these two techniques to various extents. What do they mean for a contemporary audience, and how are they currently employed in the literature, art, and music of contemporary writers and artists? How did/does film montage, both avant-garde and contemporary montages, affect and redefine the static media of print, photography, and the medium of literature? How do digital techniques affect senses and perception to continuously redefine collages and montage? Is it really correct to treat collage and montage interchangeably, or are they different techniques and concepts? Creative artists of collages/montages across all media are also invited to present their works and offer a personal interpretation thereof.         

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