*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Proclaiming that the object in Surrealism was fundamental, [Andre] Breton suggests a radical transition in surrealist creation, one that liberated the poet-artist from all constraints in the making of the artistic object. Breton’s text calls for a “revolution of the object,” suggesting that in the placing of an object into a new context, and thus attributing it with a new meaning – also called a “detournement” – which takes precedence. Drawing in his interpretation of Hegelian subject-object relations, Breton describes the “object” as a work of art that relies on a philosophical procedure, affirming the surrealist process as one that is realized in the experience of apprehending the object through a dialectical method. Citing the work of Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst, Breton explains that an object may become a product of surrealist creation through the simple “manipulation” of it. Here ”manipulation“ is defined as a procedure which reveals the object in its original and new state at the same time. If taking an object out of its original context and placing it in a new space creates the potential for a creative act, then this text seems to validate the surrealist practice of collecting. As the collector acquired objects and unites them in a gallery or a home, they assume new significance contingent upon their physical juxtaposition to other objects.
Moon Dancers: Yup’ik Masks and the Surrealists, edited by Jennifer Field, Introduction by Christina Rudofsky
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A: I’d have to say that I identify most with surrealism, although my work does not exactly fit into any particular art historical movement. When I was first finding my way as an artist, I read everything I could find about surrealism in art and in literature. This research still res0nates deeply and is a tremendous influence on my studio practice. Elements of surrealism DO fit my work. Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 20s and is best known for its visual artworks and writings. The aim was to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality.” Artists painted unnerving, illogical scenes with photographic precision, created strange creatures from everyday objects and developed painting techniques that allowed the unconscious to express itself.
Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact. Leader Andre Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was, above all, a revolutionary movement.
I hope to expand on this in a future post.
Comments are welcome!