L. De Maeyer MA (Lieven)
External PhD candidate - Textual, Historical and Systematic studies of Judaism and Christianity
Academic staff member - Titus Brandsma Institute
My research centers on a comparative study of seventeenth-century French quietism (Madame Guyon, Fénelon) and surrealism (Breton, Dalí, Michaux). More specifically, it aims to unearth a logic of ‘passive expression’ in both movements: the production of text or images whereby the author/artist remains extremely aloof. By striving for total passivity in the creative process, they attempt to let the Other express itself through them, resulting in work that retains an essential otherness, setting it apart from work produced through conscious effort. I investigate the conceptualization of this passive expression in quietism and surrealism, as well as that of the status of the produced text and images (How does the otherness of the work relate to the otherness of the Other? What is its function with regard to the author/artist, and with regard to the reader/audience?). Finally, the transmission and secularization of passive expression from quietism to surrealism will be mapped out, with special attention to the pathologization of mysticism in the 19th century and the influence of early psychiatry on the surrealist movement.
Supervisors: Dr. Marc De Kesel and Dr. Mette Gieskes