1301 Mississippi Street, Lawrence, KS 66045

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Dr. Abigail Susik 

Associate Professor of Art History, Willamette University

Can the surrealist group ethos of "permanent strike"-- a life lived in total avoidance of paid work-- be considered a form of progressive post-work imagining, relatable to today's anti-work discourse? Or was the surrealist advocacy of laziness and work resistance just another indication of class privilege? How did the surrealist artwork align with the movement's critique of the work ethic in capitalism in the era of the World Wars? Stemming from the 2021 publication of Surrealist Sabotage and the War on Work (Manchester University Press), this lecture will grapple with the ethical implications and aesthetic applications of the surrealist war on work in Europe and the United States between the 1920s and the 1970s. 

Man Ray, Séance de rêve éveillé [Waking Dream Séance], 1924. Published on the cover of La Révolution surréaliste 1 (1 December 1924). Gelatin silver negative on glass. 9 x 12 cm.

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