Dali And Surrealism

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Dali and surrealism

The surrealism movement took place during the aftermath of WWI and started in primarily in France. Surrealism was more of a broad range cultural /social project interested in liberating the human society from conscious and logical thinking to create a utopian society, than an art movement. The surrealism movement was in search of a gateway into society’s subconscious, the break down of rational and logical thinking, (The marvelous.) Surrealist artwork concentrated on individualism, subjective visions and states of disorientation, nihilism, chaos and irrationality of modernity to break down the society’s consciousness. The following artwork played a major part in the search of the marvelous: Salvador Dali’s, Accommodations of Desire created in 1929, which I’ll compare to Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel’s Un Chein Andalou created in 1929. I’ll also examine the works of Andre Brenton, ‘Exquisite Corpses’ created in 1930 by Andre Brenton, Tristan Tzara, Valentine Hugo and Greta Knutson and If you please by Andre Brenton and Philippe Soupault created in 1919. Both Andre Brenton and Salvador Dali were major player in the surrealist movement. Andre Brenton is considered the father of surrealism and Salvador Dali is considered the surrealist artist of our time. “Surrealism, n, Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express-verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner-actual functioning of thought. Dictated by thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reasons, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concerning.” Salvador Dali (1904-1989), was a Spanish painter, writer, and member of the surrealist movement. He was born in Figueras, Catalonia, and educated at the School of Fine Arts, Madrid. After 1929 he espoused surrealism, although the leaders of the movement later denounced Dalí as overly commercial. Dalí's paintings from this period depict dream imagery and everyday objects in unexpected forms, such as the famous limp watches in The Persistence of Memory (1931, Museum of Modern Art, New York City) Salvador Dali’s, Accommodations of Desire created in 1929 which is 8 5/8 x 13 ½ and is oil and collage on panel. The following statement best describes the painting “Repeat in fragments the same head of the lion desire, in order that the desire of each may be suitable accommodate itself. He who wishes to posses the beast mouth does not see the mane. He who wishes to posses the red mane hears not the lion’s roar. And he who prefers the necrophilic ants crawling over the white pebble no longer see the lion. Above left the pebble of the Playa Confitera has already been laid bare by death.” In comparing the painting to the film Un Chein Andalou by Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel also created in 1929 you can see the similarities in both works, i.e. the violence, death, disorientation, chaos and the most obvious similarity; ants crawling out of the man’s hand in Un Chien Andalou and ant crawling out of the pebble in Accommodations of Desire. “Critical works devoted to Bunuel usually underplay Dali’s role in the film or ascribe to Bunuel all the positive values of the film, while Dali is held responsible for anything in the film which is not good (Aranda, 60). One does not have to be a Dali apologist to view this collaboration along different lines; Bunuel’s letters of the time, which are cited in Aranda’s critical biography, tell a different story altogether. I intend to consider this collaborationas a process that reaches its apogee in the period of the writing of the script, when Dali and Bunuel were ‘more united than ever,’ to cite one of Bunuel’s letters, (Aranda, 58). It should be pointed out that I place greater emphasis in the present study on Dali’s contribution, and on the way Un Chien andalou continued to affect his subsequent activities (the paintings of 1929). Needless to say, the film has generally been viewed from the Bunuelian perspective, especially in terms foreshadowing his future development. While not dismissing the idea of a Bunuelian continuity, I aim to show the Bunuel of the Un Chien andalou period as an intellectual and creative close partner of Dali in a collaboration that went beyond its normal objective of shooting a film in Paris and La Harve in March 1929.” Un Chien Andalou was written over the course of three-day exchange of fantasies and dreams between Brunuel and Dali. Brunuel states “ Our only rules very simple: no idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted.” “ The ‘unlimited fantasy that is born of the things themselves’ appear in Dali’s vision to supersede the human dimension, the psychologically motivated human actions.” These comments are the best examples of the similarities in both of Dali’s works. They both deal with human emotions, violence, lust, death, loneliness, sadness and anger. Time also plays a major role in Un Chien Andalou, which has also been the major theme in other Dali paintings i.e. Soft Watches and The Persistence of Memory. Both Un Chien Andalou and Accommodations of Desire breaks the boundaries and space which, liberates and provokes the subconscious of the audience. Accommodations of Desire disturbs me as a viewer in a way that I can not describe, the ants and the pebble disgust me just like the hand on the ground in Un Chien Andalou disgust me. On the other hand I am entertain by the violence in Un Chien Andalou, the eyeball scene and lady getting hit by car makes me laugh because everyone is shock and disgusted. Both artworks show the chaos and irrationality of modernity, due the aftermath and destruction of WWI. “Surrealist sees poetry in the cinema as coming from the ability, which no other medium posses to quite the same degree, to ‘complete and enlarge tangible reality’ as Luis Bunuel puts it.” Dali says, “Film shows us the ‘new poetic emotions derived from the most humble and instantaneous facts that could not have been imagined or anticipated before film” These to statements from the writers and directors of the film best describe Un Chien Andalou. The directors’ creative control and film’s poetic imagery makes the film extraordinarily unstable and dreamlike. “Un Chien Andalou ‘does not attempt to recount a dream, although it profits by mechanism analogous of that dreams” The directors’ creative control with images and editing and the films manipulation of time and space and the environment of the medium, i.e. dark screening room and flickering lights, places the viewer in a dreamlike setting. Bunuel states, “Un Chein Andalou was to closely patterned after the dream” “Bunuel had been able to take full advantage of freedom with which the oneiric state permits images to present themselves, in absence of an order prescribed by reason. But Bunuel had no succeeded in preventing those viewers who wished to do so from treating his film simply an attempt to communicate the illogicality of dreaming. He left them free to see Un Chien Andalou as a succession of disparate incidents, bearing

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