AUTHORSHIP AND IDENTITY IN MAX ERNST'S LOPLOP
Version of Record online: 5 JUL 2005
Volume 28, Issue 3, pages 357–385, June 2005
How to Cite
Kavky, S. (2005), AUTHORSHIP AND IDENTITY IN MAX ERNST'S LOPLOP. Art History, 28: 357–385. doi: 10.1111/j.0141-6790.2005.00468.x
- Issue online: 5 JUL 2005
- Version of Record online: 5 JUL 2005
From 1928 to 1932 an avian creature named Loplop, Bird Superior, appears regularly in the collages and paintings of the surrealist artist Max Ernst. In this article I suggest that Ernst models Loplop on the father/totem, as defined by Sigmund Freud in his Totem and Taboo of 1913. An exploration of Ernst's interpretation of Freudian theory in creating Loplop illuminates the character's surprising complexity and centrality to Ernst's oeuvre. As a totem, Loplop emerges from a primary oedipal conflict on which Ernst structures his artistic identity and practice. Equating traditional notions of creative authorship with various forms of patriarchal authority, Ernst's constructed totem signifies his personal, aesthetic and political rejection of individual mastery in favour of his fraternal allegiance to the surrealist group and his embrace of surrealist automatist practices.