The surrealist toy, or the adventures of the bilboquet

Hopkins, D. (2019) The surrealist toy, or the adventures of the bilboquet. Sculpture Journal, 28(2), pp. 175-192. (doi: 10.3828/sj.2019.28.2.3)

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Abstract

The role of the toy, as a source for visual surrealism, has hardly been considered before now and even within avant-garde studies the toy is only just beginning to be looked at as an exemplar for modernist/avant-garde art. A growing literature on play has begun to register the importance of the ludic in Dadaist practice. Yet the surrealist toy has remained under-examined. Toys as (predominantly) three-dimensional objects lend themselves particularly well to sculpture. This essay therefore brings the specificities of the toy, surrealism and sculpture together in a new alignment through study of the bilboquet, an eroticized toy popular in France during the early twentieth century. This toy was the subject of a bawdy joke between Marcel Duchamp and a friend and might have been Duchamp’s first readymade.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hopkins, Professor David
Authors: Hopkins, D.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Journal Name:Sculpture Journal
Publisher:Liverpool University Press
ISSN:1366-2724
ISSN (Online):1756-9923
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 University of Liverpool
First Published:First published in Sculpture Journal 28(2):175-192
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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