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Surrealism and Salvador Dali

In: English and Literature

Submitted By marlamayhem
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Rachel Mendelson
Final EssayArt Appreciation
Fall 2012

Art Movement -Surrealism

“Although the dream is a very strange phenomenon and an inexplicable mystery, far more inexplicable is the mystery and aspect of our minds confer on certain objects and aspects of life.” g. de Chirico

Surrealism is a style of art in which the artist use the element of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions to evoke the imagination and mystery of the subconscious mind. Its intent was to create a liberated mind by the portrayal of everyday reality in an imaginative, dream-like manner. The surrealism art movement is one that included Freudian theories of the unconscious mind, and defy the standards society dictates through questioning what we know as logic, and exploring the fantasies of our imaginations. The surrealist movement, beginning in the 1920's, was based largely on the Dada movement preceding it and which produced works of art that deliberately defied reason. Surrealism developed primarily from the activities during World War I with the most important center of the movement beingParis. From the 1920s onward, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature, film, and music of many countries and languages, as well as political thought and practice, philosophy, and social theory. Surrealists feasted on the unconscious. They believed that Freud's theories on dreams, ego, superego and the id opened doors to the authentic self and a truer reality -the "surreal".

The surrealist movement was founded in Paris, France by a group of artists and writers seeking to tap into the power of the imagination through the unconcious mind. They believed the psyche had the ability to expose contradictions of society and spark a revolution. It was officially founded in 1924 following the writing of “Le Manifeste du Surrealisme” by Andre Breton who has since been prclamed “the Pope of Surrealism.” Breton wrote the manifesto of 1924 that defines the purposes of the group. He included citations of the influences on Surrealism, examples of Surrealist works and discussion of Surrealist automatism. He defined Surrealism as
Dictionary: Surrealism, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.

Encyclopedia: Surrealism. Philosophy. Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. It tends to ruin once and for all other psychic mechanisms and to substitute itself for them in solving all the principal problems of life
Breton, a poet, was a trained psychiatrist who among other poets was influenced by the psychological theories and dream studies of Sigmund Freud. The use of Freudian methods of free association led to the tapping into of the private world of the mind which is restricted by reason, logic, and social dictations to create an unexpected and refreshing form of imagery. Surrealism has impacted many other fields than art. A broader view of Surrealism includes a range of creative acts of revolt and the effort to liberate the imagination.

1960s riots
Surrealists believe that non-Western cultures also provide a continued source of inspiration for Surrealist activity because some may strike up a better balance between instrumental reason and imagination in flight than Western culture. Surrealism has had an identifiable impact on radical and revolutionary politics, both directly — as in some Surrealists joining or allying themselves with radical political groups, movements and parties — and indirectly — through the way in which Surrealists' emphasize the intimate link between freeing imagination and the mind, and liberation from repressive and archaic social structures. This was especially visible in the New Left of the 1960s and 1970s and the French revolt of May 1968, whose slogan "All power to the imagination" rose directly from French Surrealist thought and practice rested him most about the Surrealists was not their unconscious but their conscious. His meaning was that the manifestations of and experiments with psychic automatism highlighted by Surrealists as the liberation of the unconscious were highly structured by ego activity, similar to the activities of the dream censorship in dreams, and that therefore it was in principle a mistake to regard Surrealist poems and other art works as direct manifestations of the unconscious, when they were indeed highly shaped and processed by the ego. In this view, the Surrealists may have been producing great works, but they were products of the conscious, not the unconscious mind, and they deceived themselves with regard to what they were doing with the unconscious. In psychoanalysis proper, the unconscious does not just express itself automatically but can only be uncovered through the analysis of resistance and transference in the psychoanalytic processFreud initiated the psychoanalytic critique of Surrealism with his remark that what inte

Surrealism is known as the most influental movement of twentieth century art, with influences of Salvador Dali and Man Ray.

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