Andre Breton and Surrealism

With my passion for understanding the habits of the societal world that we are, as human beings, succumbed to, I have found myself with very common ground to the Surrealists, in accordance with Andre Breton and his words within the 1924 manifesto. The surrealists withdrew their visionary from the depth of their dreams to accomodate for the liberty of mind that remains to us; their dreamscapes were an attempt to showcase the capacity that our minds have beyond the boundaries that we have been accustomed to by society. In zeitgeist, this surrealist manifestation gave the viewers brand new horizons by leading them to new perceptions of which to understand their minds by. In today’s society, where consumerism and capitalism takes the lead in controlling the population by suppressing the mind to engage in communal conformity, I feel that this is an interestingly relevent way of working again: to remind the viewer of their minds capacity through their own subjective experiences of dreams.

Dreams are also a distinctive part of my existence as an artist because I have a recurring interest in dream phenomena developed because of my lifetime of vivid, complex, bizarre and often scary encounter with my sub consciousness. Evidently a subjective experience, but by illustrating these dreams like the surrealists have done, the viewer can consider the idea that the conscious mind is much more than what it is at present.

There is an obvious link between Surrealism and Freudian theory be it that of his iceberg theory of the conscious mind, whereby Freud insists that the sub conscious mind is larger and therefore more powerful and influential than the conscious mind as we subjectively know it. However, French critic Gerard Legrand stated that Surrealism is (less obviously) a fusion of several different philosophies, suggesting that the Surrealists referred to a dream-like state for their inspiration of creativity in order to poetise their work with the desire to relate to a political revolution while provoking questions within the viewers thoughts without answers. The conceptual emphasis may have been elsewhere because of this argument of the work of the Surrealists but I believe in the work being a representation of the expansion of the conscious mind, whether it be for political reasons originally or not. In my opinion, this way of working could create a foundation for the viewer to think about the sub conscious processes that occur the next time they dream, and therefore potentially during a wakefulness state of consciousness also.

To accommodate for this realization of pathway for my work, I am going to utilize the resource of my dream diary of which I have kept for a while. I intend to illustrate the ‘stories’ as surreal scenes for a viewer to identify an overall narrative created by my subjective sub conscious mind. I feel that a successful way of achieving this initially is to collage because it’s quick and therefore I can keep up to date with the daily dreams, eventually transforming these into paintings to consider the skills involved in the process of depicting the dreams.

Autumnal Cannibalism 1936 by Salvador Dal? 1904-1989


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