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October 3, 2013
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Surrealism

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 8:47 PM

Salvador Dali autosodomized by neofotistou







W


orld War I (1914-1918) was a human catastrophe
that devastated Western civilization and mocked the hope inherent in “modernism”. The sheer volume of the war’s slaughter was beyond belief. The horror of it all destroyed the trust in science, medicine and technology as the golden gateway to a harmonious and peaceful future for humanity. All that was thought to be good had been twisted to the evil purpose of a global war. A global sense of hopefulness was replaced with a global sense of fear and loathing.













The arts community responded with the Dada and Surrealism arts movement, with Dali’s dripping watches on canvas and Bunuel’s shocking sliced eyeballs on film. It was as if the artists were acknowledging that madness still held sway just beneath the surface of everyday rationality. The dream logic of sleeping hours became as much a part of one’s personal narrative as one’s waking perceptions and deductions. The 1920s and 30s were a time when the avant garde in the arts explored and commented upon their perceived meaninglessness of life, and the infinitely jumbled and recombined elements of surrealism became the language of their rebuke of the façade of rationality.










T


oday the radicalism of the surrealist movement in art is mostly gone (although there are still the occasional echoes of the original shocks, like Serrano’s 1987 photograph, “Piss Christ”), but the stylistic influence of surrealism remains indelibly imprinted on the culture, especially in design and advertising. The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles designed by Frank Gehry is officially labeled “deconstructivist,” a modern aesthetic stepchild of surrealism. Advances in CGI artistry are making almost every beer commercial on TV seem like a free association exercise under influence of mild hallucinogens. This twisting and turning and melting and absurdist juxtapositioning of disassociated objects is the visual legacy of surrealism albeit devoid of its original defining spirit of anger and despair. Our civilization has managed to survive, after all.



We now value surrealism simply for its being so enjoyable in its wildly creative...


weirdness







Ironically, the original meaning of surrealism is now increasingly once again heard in the public discourse. Again this comes in response to horror—this time with the advent of senseless acts of terrorism in our cities and towns. Witnesses at the Boston Marathon bombing numbly described the event as “surreal,” when unable to describe something that couldn’t possibly have happened, yet in fact had just happened. “Like being in a bad dream, waiting to wake up.” The 9/11 disaster was repeatedly called “surreal,” describing an impossible horror having just become reality. Such was the original fire that burned in the hearts of the original surrealist artists. Betrayed by the promise of peace and human progress, they retreated into their own psychic landscape of dreams and fantasies as their only respite from the madness of irrational hate and violence.  Let us hope this return to surrealism’s “original usage” is of short duration, so we can continue to appreciate the art form’s altered realities for the purely imaginative artistry of its enduring aesthetic pleasures (minus the despair).











Dadaism not only wanted to present the meaninglessness of existence but also the meaninglessness of "art" as well such as with Duchamp's ‘Fountain.’













The future of surrealism in the arts is at a crossroads. Technology has increased what artists can create by a thousand-fold.





But will surrealist images, like those in sc-fi movies, point the way to a new way forward, or will surrealism be mainly utilized as a commercial distraction away from social issues?










no-1


Do you feel that surrealism should be judged only in terms of the aesthetic and without any further political or social “textual” meaning?












no-2


Do you think that a trust in science and political democracy has given us a naïve notion of steady human progress?  Should the “irrationality” of ancient beliefs and dream visions be factored into how we define ourselves and our journey forward?













no-3


Have you ever had the feeling that the boundaries between your waking life and your sleeping life were becoming porous?  Has dream logic ever served you well solving a waking problem? Has a revelation in a dream ever proven true in the light of day?









no-4


What do you beleive in today's society motivates so many artists on deviantART to adopt surrealism?







I consider dadaism as the philosophical basis for niche art movements such as net.art.  A small movement that is not only anti-art but presents a critical eye on technology.














Surrealism initially differentiated itself from dadaism with a focus on dream states and an influence from early psychology.














World War I (1914-1918) was a human catastrophe that devastated Western civilization and mocked the hope inherent in “modernism”. The sheer volume of the war’s slaughter was beyond belief. The horror of it all destroyed the trust in science, medicine and technology as the golden gateway to a harmonious and peaceful future for humanity. All that was thought to be good had been twisted to the evil purpose of a global war. A global sense of hopefulness was replaced with a global sense of fear and loathing.

Writers: techgnotic
Designers: marioluevanos

Designers Note: Images overlapping window is intentional.

For more articles like this, please visit depthRADIUS
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:iconnias-la2:
Nias-LA2 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014
thank you for this I love Surrealism
Reply
:iconfantasylost:
FantasyLost Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014   Digital Artist
You ended your article with the statement, "Let us hope this return to surrealism’s “original usage” is of short duration, so we can continue to appreciate the art form’s altered realities for the purely imaginative artistry of its enduring aesthetic pleasures (minus the despair)." And yet you chose predominantly surreal artworks for your article that displayed the dark side of life (the despair, the horror and blood, the grotesque). I wish you had included some of the surreal artworks of artists like RHADS for their "purely imaginative artistry" and "enduring aesthetic pleasures":

Lords Of The Wind by RHADS

Pierian spring by RHADS

Nature Salvation by RHADS
Reply
:iconfootinadream:
footinadream Featured By Owner Edited Nov 16, 2014  Student General Artist
I think that the imagination is immensely useful in and of itself. I was reminded of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED talk on "The danger of a single story". She's a lady from Nigeria and talks about how wrong and one-sided the West's stories of Africa are, and how healthy it is to tell our stories - and other's - in many different ways as a way to more deeply understand and humanize ourselves and the rest of the world. www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_a…

I think that one of the goals of "surrealism" to do this, to expand our associations and create a bigger world. 

1- I don't think any art "should" be appreciated in any one way

2- I think that we can get pretty cozy in our own little world of politics and technology, but there is so much more to the story of us. I think that we would all do well to understand the past. There is just a wealth of ways that people through time have come to understand and feel about life and the world, even the irrational stuff has a modern application, if only to remind us of what NOT to do

3- I get a lot of interesting and new "feelings" from dreams. I sometimes wake up and the world feels new and different, and I see possibilities where I didn't before. Whenever that happens I revel in it and try to explore it as best I can before it fades away. I like to think that I end up carrying some of those strange feelings with me still, and hopefully over time I will accumulate a oeuvre of them that I might be able to tap into when I need inspiration. 

4- This is a tough question. I see a disproportionate amount of it on DA than I do in my other art arenas. I tend to think DA kind of draws that sort of thing in. I think that people also really like that sort of stuff, and that is why it is so popular here. I just think people like to see stories told in different ways, they like to have their minds blown and their imaginations set on fire. Modern technology has just given artists and audiences the tools to more readily create, share and view it. 
Reply
:iconiap789:
Iap789 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Surrealism emerges from our feelings and curiosity about the world around us. Science and medicine may have taken a hit post WW1 but successes such as antibiotics and the space age re-enthused most with the wonder of those technologies and resulted in plenty of inspiring new art in this genre.
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:iconartistloverwarror:
artistloverwarror Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  New member Professional General Artist
1. all art should be searched for its reflection of where we are at culturally!  
2. democracy is dead and science is in the hands of the ethically dead
3. absolutely the dreams serve me well !
4.to destroy long held . and seriously backward social thinking and wake up the sleeping !
Reply
:iconxxznombiexx:
XxZnombiexX Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Surrealism. ♥
Reply
:iconkaffien:
kaffien Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1. I don't believe we should remove the politics and the social textual meaning from surreal images. To me, these
    give the artwork meaning. Or at least a deeper meaning. 

2.  Trusting anything implicitly is foolhardy in my opinion.  I don't think we are moving forward at all. We are rehashing
     the same old wars since world war 2. It feels like we are wasting time.  Like we are too afraid of the horrors of the previous
     wars and paralyzed to do anything about our current world situation.

3.  Nope and nope.  Most drugs and fun hallucinogens like proper absinthe are ... illegal and or destructive so my dreams are hardly
     remembered upon waking.  

4.  It's fun to experiment with, anything crazy from a dream is totally appropriate to use.  It can give a person pause for thought. 
Reply
:iconclare523:
Clare523 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  New member
Best ever seen

Visit me:twitter-trends1-today.blogspot…
Reply
:iconmars636:
Mars636 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014
1. I believe it would be an impossible task to try and stop the minds natural predisposition to associate meaning to imagery. Anyway, I think this was part of the original mandate of the Surrealist manifesto, wasn't it?
2. Yes and yes!
3. On occasion, definitely. Not that I remember. Depends on my interpretation!
4. Access to cheap drugs!!!
Reply
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