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Douglas Lain
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 01:33 pm:   

I watched a documentary about surrealism last night.

Here's what Robert Hughes said at the end:

What became of surrealism? Not much. It became exactly what it set out not to be...a style. And not a very durable style at that. Surrealism was completely digested in 50 years, its devices have come to look more nostalgic than revolutionary. But, there is another side to it, because surrealism was less an art movement than a rebellion of the mind that chose painting as its vehicle. It may not choose to inhabit paintings again. Yesterday the poltergeist was throwing plates in the kitchen, tomorrow it may turn up in the hall. It's a very durable spirit, and one that is hard to excorcise, but it loves everything that is contrary, extravagant, and free. In it's very cussedness and perversity is a kind of innocence, and a declaration of hope.
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Carole C
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 02:38 pm:   

I think that is a good quote. But to me it seems to be pointing out that Surrealism has much more to do with the durability of the human spirit than any kind of organised political movement, or revolution (which inevitably leads to violence).

And especially not Marxism.


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Douglas Lain
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 10:16 pm:   

I would say that Marx's critique of capital stands and is central to Surrealism, and the horrors of the Marxist States (China, the Soviet Union) are as far away from surrealism as possible.

As to revolutionary change, the aim of surrealism, this rebellion of the mind, is to change objective reality.
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Carole C
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 02:07 am:   

'the horrors of the Marxist States (China, the Soviet Union) are as far away from surrealism as possible.'

Glad we agree on that then!

It's possible to undergo a complete rebellion of the mind, without objective reality changing much at all. Maybe a lot of surrealism is aimed at changing perceptions of reality rather than the reality itself.


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