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'The Weapons of our Adversaries'

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Harry WeeksORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This article examines Georges Bataille’s engagements with fascism and community during the 1930s as a means of providing a living historical lesson which might assist the navigation of the complex waters of fascist-curiosity in contemporary art. Two distinct methodologies in Bataille’s work are discussed and distinguished from one another: a) Bataille’s analytical approach, which investigates the conceptual underpinnings of fascism in order to better defend against them; and b) the appropriative methodology of his work with the group Contre-Attaque, which sought to co-opt the weapons of fascism to anti-fascist ends. Whilst the latter has proven problematic, the former is characterised as enacting a subversive internal fracturing of fascist discourses essential to the contemporary anti-fascist project. Bataille’s pertinence to our current moment, and the field of contemporary art, is drawn out through analogy with the work of artist Dean Kenning, whose analytical engagement with fascism is contrasted with the appropriative nature of London-based gallery LD50’s fascist-curiosity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Weeks H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Third Text

Year: 2019

Volume: 33

Issue: 3

Pages: 337-353

Online publication date: 01/07/2019

Acceptance date: 01/11/2018

Date deposited: 06/09/2019

ISSN (print): 0952-8822

ISSN (electronic): 1475-5297

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/09528822.2019.1628444

Notes: ‘The Weapons of our Adversaries’: Georges Bataille’s Analysis of Fascism and Community


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