The word Surrealism can be used to refer to a given style of literature and art that was developed in the 20th century. The art stressed on the non-rational or subconscious importance of imagery that is arrived at by exploitation of chance impacts or automatism and unexpected juxtaposition. The term also refers to a cultural movement that commenced in 1920s. The movement was best known for their performances in writings and visual art workings. The paper discusses the movement of surrealism and their works in the history of literature and art.
The main aim of forming the movement was to resolve the contradictory conditions of reality and dream. The artist in this movement did paintings, and created illogical scenes that had photographic precisions. The creatures created from the usual objects and the painting techniques that they employed allowed for that expression of the unconscious.
Origin and Growth
The movement developed out of activities of Dada during the phase of First World War. The most vital centre of the movement was Paris, France. The movement spread out in the world as from 1920s. The spread of the movement affected the film industry, literature, music, languages, visual arts, philosophy, social theories and even political practices and thoughts.
The members of the movement did sculpture work. The masterpiece sculptures that they created included Woman with her Throat cut, of 1920 that was made out of bronze of a female corpse. The other sculpture is The Invincible Objects of 1943. Both works portrayed the female body as dangerous and inhuman. The former sculpture was originally intended by Giacometti to rest on the ground as part of a real world distanced from the realm or artwork. The sculpture is a hybrid animal, human and insect. The violence and the sexual drama that is depicted in the work is a typical example of a misogynistic imagery that is frequently used in Surrealism.
The Invincible Objects also called Hands Holding the Void is a sculpture of a stylized female figure who is anatomically complete. The figure balances on a throne that is cage-like and has a board that covers her shins. The board and the throne both restrict her movements. The hands appear to hold nothing as depicted by the title. The sculpture that marks Giacometti’s last works in the field of art evoked a lost object that was forever sought and was not recovered.
One of the great works in photography done by Man Ray, a surrealist photographer, is the “Enigma of Isadore Ducasse” done in 1920. The photograph has the image of a sewing machine that is wrapped inside a blanket and tied using a string. The photograph incorporates the homage to the poet Lautreamont termed as Isadore Ducasse. The photographic work was a masterpiece spiced by the inclusion of techniques of surrealism that attracted the attention of so many adherents of art.