This article analyses the imprint of Nietzschean philosophy on Picabia's negotiation of embodiment, art and religion in Jésus-Christ Rastaquouère (1920). Presenting this text as a critically neglected masterwork of avant-garde literature, this article demonstrates
how Picabia enlisted Dadaist suspicion of organized religion as the vehicle for his disavowal of the official art world. Picabia and Nietzsche were united in their scorn for Christ and the disembodying pieties of Christian morality. However, whereas Nietzsche proffers art as redemptive antithesis
to religion, Picabia launches an all-out attack on the sanctity of art and, with it, on the notion of the artist as redeemer. Via close textual and comparative analysis, this innovative reading of Jésus-Christ Rastaquouère exposes its significance as a philosophical treatise
which exists in formal and conceptual dialogue with a constellation of Dadaist artworks. It uncovers how Picabia co-opts and, ultimately, exceeds Nietzsche's Anti-Christ rhetoric in his idiosyncratic prose modelling of Dada's Anti-Art revolution.
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Document Type: Research Article
December 19, 2013
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The Irish Journal of French Studies is an annual international refereed journal published by the Association des Études Françaises et Francophones d'Irlande. Articles in English, French or Irish are welcomed on any aspect of research in the area of French and Francophone culture, society, literature and thought. Articles published within the last two years are available free online to members and may be purchased by non-members. All other articles are available on an open access basis.
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