Purism: Meta-Politicized Concrescence and Critique

  • Abstract:

    Purism emerged between the World Wars in France as part of France’s rappel à l’ordre. The art movement was designed to give an identity not only to France, but inspirationally to all of Europe. Scholarship has examined the political implications of Purism. Scholarship has separately examined the role of intuition in the process of artistic production vis-à-vis the Zeitgeist. This paper investigates the politicized artwork in Purism within symbolism as process. Process is framed by Henri Bergson’s durée, a conception of time and processes occurring in intellectual tensions and deferrals. From the Bergsonian perspective, the apparent frozen concrescence of form in the Purist artwork indicates the politicized desire to codify value. This is recuperated by the meta-political Bergsonian dynamic reassessment and crossing of plural realities evident in the durée. The Hegelian representation of the objective / subjective discourse will focus the examination of these politicizations as will Freud’s assessment of totems in society. This paper culminates in an attempt to recuperate Purism from the traditional Modernist perspective according the subject an objective socio-political structure through the Post-Modernist critique of specialization asserted by Jürgen Habermas.