Friday, 17 August 2012

what is surrealism?

Man Ray
How many times have you heard the word surreal used and wondered what the true meaning is? Often it is used out of context with people describing Monty Python as surreal comedy for example. The word is now frequently used to describe something that is a little bit unusual. The surrealist movement dominant in the early 20th century, in terms of photography, is influenced  by the writings of Sigmund Freud and his work concerning the 'dream state' or unconscious mind.  The famous surrealist image above combines not only the 'dream state' but a sexual reference. When you hear the term 'Freudian Slip' it is frequently used in reference to a slip of the tongue implying a sub-conscious  sexually motivated desire. The naked girl and playing her like a violin is quite evident. This is naturally a vast subject and I wanted to provide a (very) brief outline of surrealism in photography.
Philippe Halsman

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