Abigail Susik
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Override dysfunctions and the ‘Klapheck computer’
in Surrealist sabotage and the war on work
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The Epilogue discusses André Breton’s 1965 essay on the German painter Konrad Klapheck as a means of delineating a more concrete picture of what surrealism might have wanted in its prefigurative thought about a future post-work society. The Epilogue also analyses the 1965 L’Écart absolu exhibition in Paris, with its series of artworks about domestic and waged work and its outcry against a society based on what Breton in the mid-1950s termed ‘miserabilism’. Building on Breton’s indication of the necessity of human–machine collaboration in a mutual overriding of functionality as the ultimate goal of life’s potential, the final section of the book undertakes a cursory examination of relevant artworks by Klapheck, Giovanna, and others. Although surrealism does not stipulate specifics about its demands for work remuneration or the reduction of the workday and work week – or, for that matter, discuss societal solutions such as the idea of a guaranteed basic income – the movement’s increasing interest in the work of Charles Fourier and Herbert Marcuse after World War II provides a provocative glimpse of what a society without wage labour might look like in the surrealist imaginary.

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