Last Updated 12 Oct 2020

Surrealism – its Origins, Politics and Meaning in Media

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Surrealism started as a revolt against the intellect of Cubism, Formalist art, Art for Arts sake (Dada) and abstraction. It is an attitude to life and society rather than a style of art. It was a painting style that trapped the dream into physical existence. Individualism and isolation was a core value of the movement. They investigated the mind for artistic inspiration.

Origins of Surrealism: Andre Breton: Was dissatisfied with DADA Wanted a more organized and realistic He explored automatic righting and discussed the irrational and the accidental Hough process in painting He published a manifesto in 1924 (statement of ideas about the movement) Was based on Freud the idea of the conscious mind struggling against the irrational and the unconscious Implemented the idea that the individual is free to express their personal desires Definition of Surrealism: Thought is expressed with the absence of reason, aesthetic (visual), moral concerns.

Surrealism emphasizes words more than the image and was dominated by the written works and ideas. The influence of Sigmund Freud: Worked with Psychoanalysis, and how hypnosis allows an individual to remember motional experiences that have been forgotten. The importance of memories and experiences in the subconscious is core to Surrealism Hypnosis liberates the imagination Through the dream, reality is solved.

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Political situation of the time: Breton was a communist The surrealists were anarchists like the Dadaists of WWW Surrealist thought that non-government was better(irrational vs. the rational) Russian revolution Tribal art Dada : chance, irrational, illogical Art of children and the mentally ill Freud and Jung (importance of dreams and the symbols used to understand dreams) Sub Themes:

The human condition: Surrealism deals with the subconscious, dreams and irrational thought Influence of technology- Meaning in media: Surrealism involves symbolism, meaning through the use of paint Reflection of society: comment on anti war etc Two Schools of Surrealism Bibliographic Surrealism Ray, Dali,Yves, Migrate Detailed Automatic Organic surrealism Mirror, Manson Recognizable objects in different contexts Images of the mind Precise reproduction Juxtaposition (placing next to each other) Transposed (placed over) Displaced(put out of place) Mutated (altered) Visual pun/ double meaning Hidden Meaning Chance Close to abstract

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Surrealism – its Origins, Politics and Meaning in Media. (2017, Dec 30). Retrieved from

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