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July 3, 2013
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"Contrary to prevalent misdefinitions, surrealism is not an aesthetic doctrine, nor a philosophical system, nor a mere literary or artistic school. It is an unrelenting revolt against a civilization that reduces all human aspirations to market values, religious impostures, universal boredom and misery."

(Franklin Rosemont, from "André Breton and the First Principles of Surrealism")


"Surrealism is not a style, nor an aesthetic, nor simply a way of writing or painting, but a universal activity of the mind unlimited to any one particular time or place. Widening and deepening the whole human experience, it is the germ of a new mentality that might revise the old scale of human values in every field to construct a form of society that would realize the full potential of every human being."

(David Gascoyne, from "A Short Survey of Surrealism")
:iconotto-magus:
Otto-Magus Oct 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Very interesting quotes. If they represent an accurate definition of surrealism then I am a surrealist. It is ironic that "surreal style" has been wholeheartedly adopted by the advertising industry, whose values represent the opposite of surrealism....
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:iconforgetdeny:
ForgetDeny Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmmm, my feeling is that these particular quotes tend towards a mystification and even deification of what is without a doubt an aesthetic/narrative convention. This is without doubt, because all art is defined by aesthetic/narrative convention, it is not possible for this not to be true. Surrealism to me has always been genuinely simplistic to define, it is a manner of artistic presentation (painting, theatre, music, film, literature, etc... ) that causes its audience's viewpoint to be re-framed such that ideas, objects, systems and people that had previously been viewed as mundane are now viewed as strange.
Surrealism is not anarchy, however it does possess anarchic elements. Dada (surrealism's immediate parent) is artistic anarchy. Yes, I'm a total geek for art history (of all mediums) from 1890 to 1950(ish).
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:icondeaconstrucktor:
DeaconStrucktor Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Surrealism = Anarchy :iconponderplz:
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