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This chapter is concerned with mapping the terrain of the surrealist aesthetic revolution. It focuses on the period between 1925 and 1932, when the surrealists attempted to develop an image-space that would facilitate active engagement with the Parti communiste française (PCF). What was distinctive here was the provisional status of this image-space: it exceeded the institutional confines of the cultural avant-garde that was surrealism’s departure point, seeking an oppositional audience engaged in political action; yet it simultaneously fell short of the degree of commitment expected of a radical political movement. Surrealism existed in the contested space between culture and politics,...

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