Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Surrealism, 1920's

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Surrealism 1920’s
Time overview
The 1920’s coming out from the shadow of world war one (ended 11/11/ 1918) and looking to a new brighter future for all. In this new sense of liberty that the world at large had found they got inventive and brought us things like the Aerosol spray(1926), the hair dryer(1920), the liquid fuel rocket(1926) and the Television (1930). But possibly the most important new invention was the radio, bringing news, entertainment and new ideas into people’s homes, was mass-produced and every house had one.
They suffered through the Great Pandemic, this influenza epidemic was a global catastrophe they estimated to have killed 40 million people worldwide, this lead to the discovery and use of the Anti-biotic in 1928.
The lifestyles of many in the 1920’s, one of free living and great excesses found in post war life, came to an abrupt end when the worst happened. The stock market crash of Black Thursday ( October 24th 1929 ) caused the start of the Great Depression.
This was a time of great upheaval, change and loss for the whole world.
The people
Jazz was the music of choice for most young people, all clubs, cafes and restaurants played jazz. Musician’s including Duke Ellington, Al Jolson and Goerge Gershwin, whose music is still recorded and played today.
The Fashion of the 1920’s “men's fashions became less stuffy and they tried to look more youthful but women's fashions changed much more drastically with women ( flapper style of clothing ) dressing in a way they felt comfortable with not to accentuate the feminine attributes but as a statement of who they were”. (Quote found on the 5/8/2010 on www.thepeoplehistory.com/1920s.html)
This was a big thing. The first time in fashion history where women could wear what they wanted, clothes that are not overly restrictive, where people had a choice of what they wanted to wear. What scene they wanted to be in, there was more than one fashion more than one train of thought widely accepted. But not all this change was met peacefully. For example one town in France did not take kindly to their young ladies getting bobbed haircuts, an article in loeuvre jocularly told the story of this new fashion sweeping across the populations of young ladies in the town. There are stories of husbands feeling his wife’s had “dishonoured” him. A cure’ decided to preach a sermon about it on the fearst of Jeanne d’arc, it tells us that as he began to condemn bobbed hair as indecent and unchristian, a young lady stood up and spoke out making a link between Joan of arc as their mascot for the bobbed hair cut fervently Christian and sexually ambiguous, the perfect little Christian girl.

The surrealism was at first a literary movement, they very much played and experimented with language, taking in to the subconscious. Andre’ Breton who is named the father of Surrealism by writing the First manifesto of surrealism. Surrealism then went from the written arts extending to the plastic arts, fine arts, photography, cinema even to music. Surrealism is more than just art, it’s a way of life, a way of thinking, it is tapping in to the most basic form of thought, the subconscious. This is what it is like to think like a surrealist.
“We are still living under the reign of logic, but the logical processes of our time apply only to the solution of problems of secondary interest. The absolute rationalism which remains in fashion allows for the consideration of only those facts narrowly relevant to our experience. Logical conclusions, on the other hand, escape us. Needless to say, boundaries have been assigned even to experience. It revolves in a cage from which release is becoming increasingly difficult.” (First Surrealist Manifesto, From Le Manifeste du Surréalisme, 1924 ANDRÉ BRETON). ¬When I read Bretons writing I get the sense of a man that see’s everything, but wishes to commit to nothing. A world of seeing things that are behind what is really there, looking for more. Longing to be as a child free and without restraint of the possible. For me surrealism is to catch a glimpse of a dream and bring it back with you to share with the people.
Surrealism, just like its bigger brother, Dada, was formed out of a spirit of revolt that was widely felt throughout Europe and into the western world. However seeing Dadaist’s incapacity to build new positive values, the surrealists broke free from the Dada movement, Tristan Tzara, leader of the Dada movement, wanted to attack society through scandal “He believed that a society that creates the monstrosity of war does not deserve art, so he decided to give it anti-art, not beauty but ugliness”. The surrealists wanted to make art that you can enjoy, which is a big no no in the Dada ethos. Where the Surrealists proclaim the official existence of their own movement in 1924. The surrealists like any little brother took a lot away from Dada, like the shock factor that is encouraged in all art pieces both visual and written. It is a powerful thing to be able to get people thinking, and this is a tool that the surrealists took from there big brothers.
Breton’s purpose was to free people from false rationality and restrictive conventions in order to achieve the major goal of Surrealism—social revolution. The Surrealist political movement has often been aligned with anarchism and communism. Breton joined the Communist party in 1926, but withdrew in 1935 after determining Marxism required submission, which conflicted with the total freedom necessary for Surrealism

The first group exhibition was held in Paris France in 1925. Surrealism then spread overseas from France to achieve international recognition with the 1926 exhibitions in London and new work, then in 1937 it went to Tokyo where it was received warmly. Many of the popular, Joan Mira, Max Ernst, Salcador Dali, Alberto Giacometti, Valentine Hugo, Meret Oppenheim, Man Ray, Toyen and Yves Tanguy. Though Breton Adored Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, and courted them to join the movement, they did not join.
The Surrealists developed techniques such as automatic drawing (developed by André Masson), automatic painting, decalcomania, frottage, fumage, grattage and parsemage that became significant parts of Surrealist practice. The surreal became part of everyday life. Even into high fashion as shown here in the cover of the vogue magazine and they don’t just let anything on their covers. Surrealist art had made its way from the cafes on Main Street to high fashion design inspiring new fonts and new layouts in magazines. Surrealistic design did not stay with the visual and written arts, Fashion designers following the dream like designs of the surrealists started designing provocative, dream like wearable works of art. Bringing unexpected imagery dreamy elements to their work. That then gave room for the fashion photographers to work in that same surreal world.
“Photographers working for Vogue transformed real women and real fashion into surreal works of art by using layering, collage and montage, solarization, rotation, distortion, double exposure, and perspective. The resulting images resemble snapshots of a dream.” (Surrealists in Vogue, by ElyceTetprka. 9/11/2009). The new ways of treating Photos went on to effect the way photographers worked for years to come.
The surrealist showed the world what a dream looks and sounds like. This dream going from poetry to painting to fashion and politics. By trying to express unconscious thoughts and feelings in their works they the surrealists changed the look of the 1920’s everyday life.

Reference page
The Manifesto of Surrealism,
By Andre’ Bretion
Found on the 21/7/2010 By Hayley Blonde
On the following URL.

First Surrealist Manifesto
From Le Manifeste du Surréalisme, 1924
Found on the 5/8/2010 By Hayley blonde
at the following URL

Time line of world war 1
From History on the net.com
found on the 5/8/2010 By Hayley Blonde
At the following URL
General social history
Found on the 4/8/2010 By Hayley Blonde
At the following URL

The modern myth
Magdalena Holzhey,

Image of Dalì-Persistence Of Memory,
oil on canvas.
24cm x 33cm.
Museum of Modern Art, New York City, Salvador Dalí.
Found on the 8/8/2010 by Hayley Blonde’ at the following URL.

list of the surrealists artists.
Found by Hayley Blonde’ on the 8/8/2010
on the following URL

Vogue magazine covers.
found by Hayley blonde’ on the 8/8/2010
found on the following URL
and http://blog.condenaststore.com/2009/11/09/surrealism-in-vogue

The Oxford history of the twentieth century, 1998
Michael Howard & Wm. Roger Louis

Dali Robert Radford
Art & ideas
759.6 Dali

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