Reading Objects in the Contact Zone
How to cite this chapter

Upmeyer, Katharina: "Portrait of Space", in: Troelenberg, Eva-Maria, Schankweiler, Kerstin and Messner, Anna Sophia (Eds.): Reading Objects in the Contact Zone, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2021 (Heidelberg Studies on Transculturality, Vol. 9).

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ISBN 978-3-96822-049-9 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-96822-050-5 (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-3-96822-051-2 (Softcover)

Published 10.06.2021.

Katharina Upmeyer

"Portrait of Space"

Lee Miller’s Photograph as Surrealist Contact Zone

Abstract Katharina Upmeyer’s chapter focuses on the emergence and reception of the famous photograph Portrait of Space taken by American photographer Lee Miller in 1937. Due to its publication in the surrealist magazine London Bulletin in June 1940, it became an emblem of exile. This reduction contradicts, however, its origin as a surrealist photograph first and foremost negating also other possible interpretations. It will be shown how it functioned as a contact zone between the surrealist movement in Europe and in Egypt highlighting also the artists’ network that spanned globally. Moreover, it analyses the perception / appropriation of Egypt by the surrealists.

Keywords Cultural Transfer, Orientalism, Appropriation, Expanded Con­tact Zone, Networks