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EN
Born in France in the twenties of the 20th century, surrealism consequently refers to magic, paradoxically associated with reality. It is because surrealism understands reality in a completely innovative way, calling reality what is only created by imagination and free from traditional cannons thought. It claims magic to be the only beauty, whose literary vision requires application of completely new methods and descriptive techniques. Thus it introduces the original novum which is both thematic and methodological.
EN
The surrealism is rarely reflected on photography but it was one of the most popular, hot and timeless means of expression. Although many surrealists practised photography as a sideline and regarded it as fun rather than art, surrealist photography cannot be overestimated. Using the examples of the photos of Man Ray, Jacques-André Boiffard, Dora Maar, Claude Cahun or Brassai, the authoress tries to classify various forms and aspects of the art. She also tries to define what makes a given photo 'surrealist'. After David Bate, she divides surrealist photography into three categories: the mimetic, the pro-photographic and the enigmatic. The first, most conventional type of photography records reality. The second one denotes the photography that records reality staged for a picture. In this case, the photographed object is surrealist while the impression created by the photo results solely from the nature of the object. In the enigmatic mode of 'surrealist' photography that resists easy interpretation, the photographer uses darkroom techniques (solarisation, rayograms, double exposure) and procedures such as collage. The authoress tries to touch on the phenomenon of the unique humour of the surrealists and their extremely ironic ideology. Although it is close to the revolutionary and perverse aura of surrealism, its reflections always fit the discourse of art, in the broad sense of the word.
EN
The author discusses the way in which Walter Benjamin attempted to incorporate surrealism in his diagnosis of modernity. He was inspired by the basic premises of the surrealist outlook, as well as methodology applied in surrealist works (film, photography, Louis Aragon's 'Le Paysan de Paris'). Benjamin and the surrealist share the same approach to material reality of the world on the one hand, and deep, subconscious meanings on the other. Psychoanalysis had significant influence on his work and the surrealists'. It was from psychoanalysis that Benjamin developed his concept of shock, and the surrealists developed their idea of higher reality. Both theories were influential in the context of film. The concept of shock, especially shock as a quality of montage, found their use in the Arcades Project, the work in which Benjamin formulated his historiosophic postulate of awakening, which was to become a method of historical epistemology.
EN
Among all avant-garde movements, Surrealism was the most radical in criticizing rationalism. Academic methods used in exploring the world were replaced with games and provocation as Surrealists believed in effectiveness of pure play that triggered surprise and urged the players to cast off their masks. Surrealists borrowed from techniques of children's games and invented own games to aim at philistine mentality in a simple and accurate way. The long-term devotion to games stemmed from the fact that Surrealists rejected the fin-de-siecle cult of artistic individuality. At the source of this devotion was their willingness to experience a flash of enlightenment not in an atelier but in a crowded room. To them, the games embodied the willingness to blur lines between real and imaginary, reason and madness, work and play, seriousness and antics, an intellectual occupation and vulgar entertainment. The authoress cites rules and records of some games Surrealists played, the most famous being 'Exquisite Corpse'.
EN
The functions fulfilled by surrealistic photographs published in periodicals remain suspended between two extremities, orders and different practices, between subversion and aesthetics. The first is connected with the actual activity of the artists, and the second - primarily with the activity of the interpreters. On the one hand, photographs undermine their credibility and status of fully-fledged works of art, and are revolutionary in relation to the text or represented reality; on the other hand, they possess forms sufficiently expressive and beautiful so that in time they start to act in favour of building the renown of photographic imagery according to the modernistic categories of the autonomous medium. If it were possible to collect photographs functioning within the range of pre-war French Surrealism, the outcome would be an area for a confrontation with reality. Photographs are treated not as autonomous images but as representations devoid of a distance towards reality, and, quite possibly, even as part of the same phenomenological experience. They resemble extracted fragments of reality, in the manner of dreams, found objects, and all symptoms of psychic automatism or that of the world.
EN
All the literary and ethnological works by Michel Leiris are an autobiographical experiment. Similarly to other representatives of the Surrealistic stand Leiris made creative use of the mechanics of the play on words, elevated above comic functions according to the Freudian thesis about the connection between a joke and the subconscious. In his version, however, this meant that for years he was engaged in creating his own lexicon of associations, an instrument of self-analysis, and a pursuit of the collective mythology concealed in the recesses of the language, and studies on the limits of speech as evidence of the submission or resistance of thought towards its rules.
Umění (Art)
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2007
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tom 55
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nr 6
481-496
EN
This article discussed a number of aspects and characteristics of Skala's work which demonstrate the artist's fundamental concerns with nature and historicity. The author explored how these concerns are manifest in Skala's creation of highly auratic objects, of objects charged with significance within the artist's own personal history, and more generally with historical connotations that pertain to the history of art and the natural sciences. Although Skala works with artificial materials, a central feature of his oeuvre is the erasure of difference between the natural and the cultural. It is this erasure that the author discussed here in the context of Skala's romantic engagement in the natural world, as well as arguing for the importance of broader influences on his work, such as natural history and the representation and perception of nature in various historical epochs. With characteristic paradox, Skala's work can be seen as both profoundly and superficially engaged in the exploration and evocation of historicity. This is typified by his explicitly stylised allusions to romanticism, but it is more generally apparent in his consistent return to nature as the ultimate signifier of history; whether personal, folkloric, or artistic. As well as Skala's well-documented romantic tendencies, he showed the ways in which his work might relate to surrealism: a far more awkward art historical label that does not sit comfortably with Skala himself. Rather than simply discuss his works in relation to the ubiquitous found object of surrealism, the author explored how Skala's 'feeling for nature', for the resemblances of nature, and for the play between the classifications of the natural and the cultural, open up other routes into his work and into the complex network of associations that it constructs.
EN
Rudolf Fabry’s first collection of poems, “Uťaté ruky” (Severed hands, 1935) was the first book published in the Aligátor series – one of the most distinct projects that accompanied the formation of the Nadrealist movement, the Slovak variant of Surrealism. Owing to the Aligátor series and other activities and products of the actors experimenting with Surrealist poetics, Nadrealism markedly shaped Slovak literature, visual arts, typography, and other forms of art. In result, it became an important movement in Slovak poetry, introducing new poetics which was not, however, met with understanding. The critical reception of Fabry’s debut testifies to that. The debate concerning the new and the old – experiment and tradition – showed that it is crucial to recognise the degree to which Slovak Nadrealism was inspired by foreign authors and literatures (G. Apollinaire, Czech and French Surrealism). This article attempts at conceptualising Nadrealism in its objective contexts without which it cannot be adequately grasped.
9
Content available remote K estetice apropriace a reprodukce v pozdnim surrealismu
51%
EN
A contribution from the conference 'The Second Avant-garde' (part of the grant-funded project 'The Myths, Language, and Taboos of the Czech Post-Avant-garde from the Forties to the Sixties'), which was held on 23 October 2007. The article discusses appropriation in Late Surrealism - namely, from the 1960s. It focuses on the act of appropriation as a change and re-coding of the object, when it claims that the object acquires, by appropriation and recoding, a new, often forgotten, original meaning. The article also considers appropriation as a mimetic approach, arguing that what constitutes the characteristic feature of Late Surrealist artists is not the act of appropriation itself, but comparison with it. The article, in addition, discusses appropriation as a conceptual problem. In conclusion it puts forth the idea that appropriation is not an expression of a crisis, but of opportunities to achieve freedom between art made on commission and self-expression.
ARS
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2015
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tom 48
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nr 1
82 – 94
EN
The aim of this paper was to demonstrate that ostensibly idiosyncratic images in Jindřich Štyrský’s dreams and works of art are, in fact, part of European literary and pictorial tradition and originate in ancient Greece and Rome. In the introduction to his book “Dreams” of 1941 Jindřich Štyrský identified his deceased stepsister Marie with the perverse image of the ancient Greek monster Medusa. In order to highlight this identification, he evoked a glimpse of a magazine’s colour supplement of the painting depicting Medusa, which he caught as a child. This painting created by Rubens and Snyders in 1617-1618 was inspired by classical literary texts, above all, Lucan and Pliny. Pliny’s story on mating of snakes, which was illustrated in this painting, thus entered Štyrský’s imagination, even though he had not been given a classical education. The strange motif of snakes that kiss and kill thus interconnects provably Štyrský’s recorded dreams and works of art with the Western classical tradition.
Umění (Art)
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2007
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tom 55
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nr 4
316-328
EN
To date, many art historians have devoted themselves to the study of the history of Surrealism and Functionalism. Still, we do not know very much of the actual interrelationship between both -isms. A group of scientific Functionalists formed itself around Karel Teige in Czech architecture in the early 1930s. These were mostly orthodox rationalists who denied that architecture could have any artistic status and who also ignored the psychological impact of architectural form. Under Teige's leadership they pointed a critical finger at Le Corbusier. But as Teige began to get closer to Surrealism, he could hardly ignore Breton's onslaughts against agitated rationalism in modern architecture, particularly so when Breton had repeated such attacks in Prague in 1935. Teige was also impressed by Breton's call to overcome the contradictions existing between reality and dream, science and art, between rationality and emotivity. Even though the Prague theoretician had not abandoned his ideal of science-based architecture, he did admit that Functionalism would be still more scientific if, using psychoanalysis, it would explore the impact of its architectural form on the human soul. Theses and hypotheses of this kind appeared in Teige's 'Sovetska arkhitektura' (Soviet Architecture, 1936), in a preface to the book by Ladislav Zak 'Obytna krajina' (Inhabited Landscape, 1947), and may also be found in the texts written by architects Karel Janu, Jiri Stursa, Jiri Vozenilek, Jiri Kroha, eventually Vit Obrtel, who, however, had stood outside Teige's circle at that time. Employing psychoanalytical arguments taken over from Georges Bataille, Teige also began criticizing the tendencies in Soviet architecture of the 1930s towards what he called pompous and menacing monumentality. The interest of Czech scientific Functionalists in Surrealism and psychoanalysis did not lead to the emergence of any 'Surrealist architecture'. It was, however, instrumental in enriching architectural form by adding emotional components, even leading to a certain affinity between Functionalism and organic architecture. Le Corbusier's architecture also ceased to be tabooed by Teige's circle. The most interesting testimony to that shift comes in the Volman Villa in Celakovice near Prague (1938-1939), built by a team of architects Janu - Stursa, representing a kind of collage collected from Le Corbusieresque elements, features that eventually came to be discussed by Surrealists during the 1930s.
EN
An attempt at perceiving the ethnography of Michel Leiris through the prism of the programme declarations of Surrealism. Leiris comprehended ethnographic writings in a manner typical for every Surrealist: writing is a form of self-expression as is ethnography. The ethnography represented by Michel Leiris concentrated on a description of the unknown discovered in the known. This is a 'reversed' ethnography since the examined object casts light on the examiner; the otherness of that which is unknown becomes a pretext for self-cognition, for discerning and describing the unknown in us. Ethnography, Leiris seemed to maintain, can (but does not have to) offer hope for discovering some sort of a way of establishing relations with the world which would assist in understanding not the order of the world but its disorder and differentiation; it is also helpful for finding balance between alien elements, mutual strangers. Ethnography is tantamount to manipulating details, Leiris wrote, shifting small registers of reality, noting down thoughts, and documenting the world on innumerable fiches. The essence of all those activities is not a reconstruction of the described. The most important value is reflection: the self-reflection of the subject.
Umění (Art)
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2007
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tom 55
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nr 6
470-480
EN
Three paintings from Toyen's late period - 'At a Given Moment' (1963), 'A Secret Room without a Lock' (1966) and 'At Silling Castle' (1969) - stand out due to a conspicuous trait they share: pasted into each is a black-and-white reproduction of a Baroque or ancient statue with a mythological motif. This article explores the methods Toyen used to appropriate instances from the art of old; it deals with her selection of mythical female figures and contemplates the significance of depicting sculpture in paintings. Toyen was most radical with the original she selected for the painting 'At a Given Moment', in which she intervened in the primordial mythological story embodied in Bernini's 'Apollo and Daphne', appropriating the spectre of the fleeing woman and rotating the cut-out ninety degrees. She was thus alluding to subjects which Salvador Dali had drawn attention to in 'The Phenomenon of Ecstasy' (1933), a collage in which he included a photograph of a 'hysterical or ecstatic statue'. In the other two paintings, Toyen left the reproduced image in its original form and simply inserted it into a set of relationships intertwined with her own pressing themes, whether that meant her desire to eroticize the world in case of Amor and Psyche, excavated at Ostia (see A Secret Room without a Lock), or the tightly interwoven relationship between woman and dangerous natural forces, as portrayed in the Melian relief of Peleus and Thetis (see At Silling Castle). The question regarding the function of the borrowed motifs in Toyen's imaginary world and why she decided to bring them into the present using black-and-white reproductions of sculptures from bygone centuries recalls Warburg's 'Pathosformen' (pathos formulas). Certain precedents relating to Toyen's approach may be seen in the interpretation that the use of the grisaille technique to shape the antique subjects in Renaissance painting was meant to maintain antiquity at a typological distance. At the same time, however, Warburg was captivated by the Utopian dimension of grisaille. It seems that Toyen had similar aims, although she pursued them intuitively, using modern collage techniques.
14
Content available remote Spór o szaleństwo
44%
EN
In the paper, the analysis of M. Foucault’s account of madness is presented on the background of Descartes’ views on rationality. In contradiction to M. Foucault, J. Derrida argues that Descartes did not exclude the mad from thinking persons since – according to him – “the act of cogito is valid even when I am mad.” However, the important advantage of Foucault is proving that analytical approach to madness, so attempt at its objectification, leads as a consequence to many contradictions which cannot be solved even by the development of medicine, psychology and psychiatry. At the present time, some cultural permission to a kind of madness is present. A. Breton may be seen as an example of an artist who transformed madness into main subject and source of inspiration. Mad and shocking art of surrealists, due to focusing on special interrelation of opposites, shown in new light and in new way, presents different, new, and perhaps more true aspects of reality.
EN
The article investigats interaction between Ukrainian and Polish surrealism in 1920–1930, features of the creative contribution to development of the general surrealistic ideas. It also compares the activity of the Polish-Ukrainian literary associations of 1920–1930s with French circle and defines dynamics of development of basic principles of poetics – the automatic letter, “an objective case”, a mythological component in surrealism structure. Unlike the French surrealism which in 1920–1930s has concentrated the problematic round ideology, the Ukrainian version of this direction, since the origin, was essentially nonpolitical. The presented research puts one of the problems – comparison of ideological base of the Ukrainian and Polish versions of surrealism (in painting and literature) with understanding of the avant-garde syncretism.
Ad Americam
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2010
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tom 11
143-158
EN
The following article is the first chapter of an MA thesis written in the Transatlantic Studies at the Jagiellonian University. The thesis, entitled 'Between Surrealism and Anthropophagy: Revolutionary aspects of Modernism From a Transatlantic Perspective', discussed the different aspects of the modernist revolutionary project of Surrealism, in Europe, and Anthropophagy, in Brazil, focusing on the impacts of both projects at their time and how they developed into two distinct forms of understanding culture and society. The first chapter aims to define the term 'modernism' and to analyze how art interpreted the crisis of modernity.
EN
The study offers a new perspective on a frequently researched question of the supposed end of the Avant-gardes. He mentions various researches on this issue to finally disagree with Peter Bürger who claims the end of the Avant-gardes as inevitable consequence of their basic structure. Bürger wants to discredit the whole 'neo' Avant-garde as a rootless, meaningless phenomenon and criticizes Adorno for not distinguishing between faddish (arbitrary) and historically necessary newness. What Bürger ignores here is the historical fact that Pop Art and its heirs (especially Fluxus) reflects very consciously this difference, and this in itself makes them legitimate. Bürger attributes to Avant-garde the intention of destroying the institutional system of arts and holds the whole Avant-garde a failure as it failed to fulfil this aim. The general acceptance of Duchamp's 'Fountain' as a work of art is for Bürger a proof of the Avant-garde's fall, or even of its failure. However, this is possible to interpret also as its success, because even Duchamp never wanted to destroy these institutions altogether: he wanted to subvert them. As he managed to make them accept an urinal as a work of art, he certainly achieved his goal to change the institutions of art. Moreover, by no means is the Duchamp's radical conception of anti-art the only incarnation of Avantgardes. The author mentions dadaists, expressionists and others. Finally he recognizes the acceptance of Duchamp's urinal as the success of subversion, the chief goal of Avantgarde movements, claiming that the refusal of it would have meant that 'we stay with a 19th century concept of art plus an ordinary urinal that remains outside the history of art'.
18
Content available remote K "druhé avantgardě" (teze k diskusi)
44%
EN
A contribution from the conference 'The Second Avant-garde' (part of the grant-funded project 'The Myths, Language, and Taboos of the Czech Post-Avant-garde from the Forties to the Sixties'), which was held on 23 October 2007. The author is concerned here with what it was that awoke in the Second Avant-garde. She poses the fundamental question of what influence Surrealism has had on art after the Second World War. She also discusses influences and trends in Czech culture from the 1940s to the 1960s, including works, for example, by Vera Linhartova (b. 1938), Vratislav Effenberger (1923-1986), and Karel Teige (1900-1951).
EN
The text is devoted to the film works of Jan Švankmajer, one of the most famous Czech surrealists still alive. In his films the artist uses a technique that combines collage, drawing, dolls, objects and natural plastics with traditional feature movie in order to challenge the dichotomous order of the animate and inanimate world. Objects, which are brought to life, become empowered in the works of the Czech artist. Revealing the “corporeality” of inanimate matter becomes the leading idea of Švankmajer’s “tactile art,” according to which objects, thanks to the encoded memory of the human touch, are capable of reflecting various mental situations. A particular anthropomorphization of inanimate matter finds its counterbalance in reification activities that man is subjected to in the films of the Czech artist. The surreal world of Švankmajer’s imagination, drawing on the abundant tradition of European, but mainly Czech, surrealism, as well as other cultural inspirations, first of all asks questions regarding the indifferentism of the contemporary man and the tendencies of dehumanization in today’s world. The text constitutes an attempt to ponder on the concept of body and corporeality in the animation works of one of the most outstanding artists of the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries.
EN
The exhibition 'AND OTHERS. Movements, Explorations and Artists in Latvia 1960 - 1984' was on view at the Riga Art Space from 17 November to 30 December 2010. It examined the marginal aspects of Soviet cultural life and searches for alternative means of expression in the art of this period. Vladimir Glushenkov (1948-2009) was among the artists represented in this show; until now his name was known only among the small circle of connoisseurs. Although Glushenkov had received a typical professional education for an artist of Soviet Latvia, his entry onto the art scene was a relative failure. The diploma of stage designer allowed him to take a creative, state-paid job at Latvian Television where he worked as an artist-producer from 1976 to 1996. Alongside this state job and several stage-design projects for Latvian theatres, throughout his life he was an enthusiastic painter as well as engaging in verbal forms of expression such as writing journals and poetry. Attempts to take part in official exhibitions, submitting his compositions to the shows of thematic painting, were usually criticised and turned down by the jury; this was related to the style and theme, which was far removed from the requirements of that time and also the insufficient 'quality' of execution. The originality of Glushenkov's individual approach became especially manifest in the 1970s and 1980s when his stylistically diverse painted compositions (tempera) and graphic works (mostly ink drawings) revealed his interest in Western art history from the Renaissance to post-modernism. He had been interested in figural art but not in the traditional manner based on academic traditions or the canon of Socialist Realism. His images of the early 1970s, anthropomorphic rather than realistic, were joined in absurd combinations, works with a hardly readable spatial structure and subject, creating a painting endowed with surreal moods.
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