Giraffe , Julia Sweda. The Burning Giraffe , Salvador Dali, 1936-37. Surrealism.
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Surrealism is a cultural, artistic, and intellectual movement oriented toward the liberation of the mind by emphasizing the critical and imaginative faculties of the "unconscious mind" and the attainment of a state different from, "more than", and ultimately "truer" than everyday reality: the "sur-real", or "more than real".
From Around the World,
Concentrated in One Place
International Movement, Founded in Paris
* Included Poets, Painters & Musicians, many veterans & refugees from WWI
The surrealist group in Paris, circa 1930. From left to right: Tristan Tzara, Paul Éluard, Andre Breton, Hans Arp, Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguy, Max Ernst, Rene Crevel, Man Ray.
I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.
In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.
“crump” = a large explosive shell or bomb.
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
André Breton1896-1966, Poet*studied psychiatry*served in neurology ward in WWI*met Sigmund Freudin 1921*wrote “Surrealist Manifesto, 1924
ImaginationThe imagination is perhaps on the point of reasserting itself, of reclaiming its rights. If the depths of our mind contain within it strange forces capable of augmenting those on the surface, or of waging a victorious battle against them, there is every reason to seize them--André Breton, “The Surrealist Manifesto,” 1924
I have always been amazed at the way an ordinary observer lends so much more credence and attaches so much more importance to waking events than to those occurring in dreams.--André Breton, “The Surrealist Manifesto,” 1924
Salvador Dali 1904-1989
(n.) Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express--verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner--the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.--Andre Breton, “The Surrealist Manifesto”
The image is a pure creation of the mind.It cannot be born from a comparison but from a juxtaposition of two more or less distant realities. The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be--the greater its emotional power and poetic reality.--Pierre Reverdy
Object, Meret Oppenheim, 1936
Lobster Telephone, Salvador Dalí, 1936
Carnival of Harlequin, Joan Miró, 1924-1925
The Treachery of Images, René Magritte, 1928-29
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
In the dark, the small dog howls my name painfully.
Out in the light, big cats whisper her place pleasantly.
Inside out dark, small dogs scream his nothingness uncomfortably.
Outside in light, large turtles whisper their everything comfortably.
Inside in darkness, small evils scream my nothingness awkwardly.
Outside in brightness, large gods whisper my everything comfortably.
Inside the dark, small demons scream your faults.
If your heart fails,
Then you will get lice.
If sheep were purple,
Then the sun won’t rise tomorrow morning.
If the heart protests your will,
Then she will smile like she blew all the candles out.
If God is mad at you,
Then the pages will read backwards and upside dow
Then people would see your true self.
If rain fell sideways,
Then the monkeys would sing in Spanish.
If fishes drowned and people swam,
Then everyone would believe the world is flat.