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Made for Reproduction

When an art object is photographically reproduced on the printed page, it undergoes a series of transformations: three-dimensional objects become two-dimensional, color images become black and white, large objects become small, and all reproductions of objects require that the viewer take an interpretive leap of faith to accept that the diminutive, printed image is a stand-in for its material counterpart in the world. The Dadaists were among the first artists to break with the habitual acceptance of these conditions, recognizing that the artwork in reproduction was something distinct; possibly a category of production unto itself. This panel seeks papers that explore the work of early twentieth century visual artists, including Dadaists, Surrealists, and others who engaged the potential of reproduction by creating works that explored these transformations, engaging, for example, the materiality of the print publication—its inky, opaque, horizontal nature—or, inversely, its flatness and dematerializing effects. Do certain artworks made for reproduction probe the poetic potential of the image's semiological break from its material referent? Might they respond to the anxiety implicit in this rupture? Do such interests arise in relation to particular historical, social, political, cultural, and economic contexts? If an artwork in reproduction is removed from exchange value, is it always politically charged? Does literature produced for publication serve as a model for its visual counterpart? Papers on well-known artists such as Max Ernst, John Heartfield or László Moholy-Nagy, or writers/theorists such as Louis Aragon and Walter Benjamin are welcome, as are those on less familiar figures working across visual and verbal fields.

Please send a preliminary abstract of 1-2 double-spaced pages and a CV by April 25, 2014 to Emily Hage and Adrian Sudhalter at and

Conference Location: Pittsburg, PA, USA
Conference Starts: November 06, 2014
Conference Ends: November 09, 2014

CFP Submission Deadline: April 25, 2014

For more information, contact: Emily Hage

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