April 02, 2009

Under the eye of BIEF

The return to power in 1958 by General de Gaulle, following the Algerian crisis, is seen as a fascist coup d'état by the surrealist movement. Under the guidance of André Breton, his faithful collaborator, Gérard Legrand mobilizes the new guard - including Jose Pierre, Jean Robert Benayoun and Schuster, to create the journal BIEF, a surreal junction destined to express the positions of the movement. "In the locks of Surrealism, that is to be understood once and for all that water that goes down and up stays the same, yet always renews itself: BIEF attempts to identify each month, a reflection of that water." (issue No. 1 - November 15, 1958).
On can discover, over the pages, some political articles, as the text by José Pierre published in the issue No. 5 - March 15, 1959 and entitled " A People falling apart." The author is concerned about the "passive disgust" of the youth, a part of which just comes back from Algeria and protests: "We must stop to continually blow up out of proportion Joan of Arc, campaigns of Louis XIV or Napoleon! That the few persons who are not rotten provide youth a true intellectual and revolutionary education. All is not yet lost. "
also offers literary and artistic criticism as well as a section maintained by Joyce Mansour who uses a nicely and provocative tone. Note that the cover of issue No. 9, published on December, 1th 1959, is devoted to Benjamin Péret, deceased a few months earlier, and who contributed to the journal.

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • [REVUE] BIEF. Jonction surréaliste. N°1 à N°12, november 1958 - april 1960. Paris, Le Terrain Vague, 11 stapled booklets, in-4, case. Complete collection, in deluxe edition, of this surrealist journal with illustrations by Benjamin Péret, Hans Bellmer, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Robert Lagarde, Arshile Gorky, Toyen, Mimi Parent, Wolfgang Paalen, etc. Texts by Legrand, Breton, Arp, Mansour, Legrand, Schuster, Péret, etc.