The Mystery Religion of a New Art
Can new values in art be served best by art objects or art events?
When Georges Bataille walked away from the wreckage of Contre Attaque group in 1937, he vowed to take a different path. Contre Attaque, founded by Bataille and composed mainly of public individuals from the orbit of Surrealism, had been founded to oppose Fascism, independently of the Partie communiste française. The scourge of dissent had broken out, destroyed comity and prevented concerted action.
Acéphale as cultic elite action
Known today mostly for his novel The Story of the Eye, Bataille was a well-connected and erudite author of non-fiction, as well as an editor and leading figure in (and uneasy ally of) the Surrealist movement. He headed the Documents group, centred around the Documents journal, which he edited and to which he contributed. He was listed as “secretary” in the colophon, so as to not jeopardise his day job of librarian, should the more controversial material meet the eyes of colleagues. Bataille absorbed an eclectic range of ideas from anthropology, theology, history and psychology, which