Detournement

n détournement, an artist reuses elements of well-known media to create a new work with a different message, often one opposed to the original. The term “détournement”, borrowed from the French, originated with the Situationist International; a similar term more familiar to English speakers would be “turnabout” or “derailment”, although these terms are not used in academia and the arts world as they are inherently ‘anti-art’ as they are often blatant theft and sabotage of existing elements. Détournement is similar to satirical parody, but employs more direct reuse or faithful mimicry of the original works rather than constructing a new work which merely alludes strongly to the original. It may be contrasted with recuperation, in which originally subversive works and ideas are themselves appropriated by mainstream media.

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