Within my group’s overall goal to explore Loy’s lampshade shop and its place in the Modernist movement, we’ve developed several related branches of inquiry. My curiosities have led me to sources that analyze Loy’s lampshade references (and references to shade and light, and electricity in general) in her written works, as well as discourse on the inner workings and motivations of the Modernist movement in Paris. A description of potential digital tools is also provided.
Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” from Illuminations. New York, Schocken Books, 1968, Pgs. 217-251
In his essay, Benjamin develops the idea of the ‘aura’, “[a work of art’s] presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be”. He argues the aura of a piece of art is diminished or erased entirely when the work is reproduced (via photograph, digital scan, etc), and therefore lacks true authenticity. Benjamin’s understanding of aura is an invaluable idea when we start to consider the meta implications of working only with photographic reproductions of Loy’s lampshades, or working to recreate a lost shop.
Cardell, Debra Elizabeth. Mina Loy and the Electric Body. 2013. University of Tennessee Knoxville Master’s Dissertation.
Cardell expands on ideas of ekphrasis to tease out how Loy engages with language through visuals. Literally bringing taboo topics “out of the shadows”, Cardell discusses how Loy uses visceral language to establish her own distinctive aura for her art-objects. Although this source doesn’t directly focus on Loy’s lampshades, its discussion on her manipulation of dark and light, hidden and seen, could be critical for our understanding of Loy’s intent when creating them.
Junyk, Ihor. Foreign Modernism : Cosmopolitanism, Identity, and Style in Paris. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division, 2013. EBSCOhost, https://ezproxy.lib.davidson.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e000xna&AN=682935&site=ehost-live . Accessed 14 Oct 2018.
This author traces the creation of France’s “foreign modernism” led by foreign-born artists during Paris’s Modernist era – a time when nationalism and extreme right-wing rhetoric was blossoming. His analysis of these artists’ attempts at resistance may offer insight into Loy’s motivations as a foreign-born, half-Jew.
Lein, Julie Gonnering. “Shades of Meaning: Mina Loy’s Poetics of Luminous Opacity.” Modernism/Modernity, vol. 18, no. 3, 2011, pp. 617–29. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/mod.2011.0075. Accessed 14 Oct 2018.
This source also traces Loy’s fascination with light and light-sources in her poems, including Songs. Lein writes, “Just as her lampshades enfold, direct, and decorate the radiance of electric light, her poetics of luminous opacity appropriates, filters, and shapes the brilliance of the avant-garde according to her unique and expressive need and desire.”
Mettinger-Schartmann, Elke, et al. Rive Gauche: Paris as a Site of Avant-Garde Art and Cultural Exchange in the 1920s. Editions Rodopi, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/davidson/detail.action?docID=617743.
This work surveys Paris’s importance as a site for the Avant-Garde movement, providing descriptions of several artists and their attempts to bridge cultural gaps through liberal artistic exchange and dialogue. Although this work might not be as important to our overall argument, it seems to offer a helpful foundation for understanding why Paris became one of the most prolific sites of Modernism.
Whalen, Lottie. Mina Loy’s Decorative, Domestic Modernism– Womenareboring. https://womenareboring.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/mina-loys-decorative-domestic-modernism/comment-page-1/. Accessed 11 Oct. 2018.
I included this source not because of its academic weight, but because it was one of the only pieces of analysis I could find that directly discussed Loy’s physical lampshades. Pushing back against gendered prescriptions of what constituted as “serious” art, Whalen examines how Loy subverted expectation as a woman within the Modernist movement. Like Lein and Cardell, she also explores how Loy’s lampshades inform her written art, as well as how the lampshades “transformed” her domestic spaces into ethereal scenes of light and electricity described in her poetry.
StoryMap. https://storymap.knightlab.com . Accessed 14 Oct 2018.
Knight Lab’s StoryMap may provide a highly useful platform if our group decides to incorporate an interactive map of Loy’s Paris into our final project. The software allows users to utilize graphics, videos, and more in addition to interactive map markers to create an enriched experience.
WooCommerce Plugin for WordPress.com. https://woocommerce.com . Accessed 14 Oct 2018.
This plugin provides the means to create a functional shop through a WordPress.org account. If our curiosity leads us toward a recreation of Loy’s lampshade shop, this tool will be invaluable since we already have WordPress domains registered.