Sanja Bahun

Sanja Bahun is Professor in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, University of Essex. She is the author of Modernism and Melancholia: Writing as Countermourning (2014), and co-editor of numerous volumes, including The Avant-garde and the Margin (2006) and Cinema, State Socialism and Society in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1917-1989 (2014). She has published widely on subjects ranging from international modernism, through psychoanalysis, intellectual history, theory of the comparative arts, to world literature and transitional justice. Her current research on the concept of home in modernism is funded by the Leverhulme Trust UK.




The Arrested Flight of Surreality: The Belgrade Surrealist Circle (Field Report with Invitation)

Cushioned in an archival box in the Museum of Applied Arts, Belgrade, Serbia, lies a remarkable surrealist photograph: Nikola Vučo’s The Arrested Flight of Surreality (Zadržano bekstvo nadstvarnosti, 1929, fig. 1). Posing as a visual riddle, the photograph shows the figure of a woman with her back to the viewer, as if intent on moving on, or fleeing, and the semitransparent hands arresting her flight or gently pulling her in the opposite direction. The surreal effects of the photograph result from double exposure, considered an innovative technique at the time, wherein superimposition is obtained by apparatic means rather than interventions on the negative. Dual exposure photographs have to be premeditated and carefully staged performances, thus presenting great examples of what Pavle Levi has called “cinema by other means.”