Explosante-Fixe - Photographie & Surrealisme
Rosalind E. Krauss, Jane Livingston, Dawn Ades
Publisher:Hazan - 2002
Number of Pages:243
" And when will all good books stop being illustrated with drawings and appear only with photographs? " That's what André Breton asked himself in the early 1920s. This wish in his impatience shows the decisive role of photography in the surrealist aesthetic. Its omnipresence in everyday life, in newspapers, advertisements and magazines, fascinated the Surrealists, who were always quick to find the marvellous in everyday life. The marvellous is the great talismanic concept, the key to the surrealist theory. To understand it, photography is essential: in the midst of the tumult and diversity of the plastic works of Surrealism, it is difficult to discern a principle of stylistic unity. But photography, in its contribution to "convulsive beauty", offers precisely here a key that allows us to enter as if inside the Surrealist aesthetic. There is a frequent prejudice that photography, as a "realistic" means of expression, is fundamentally incompatible with a movement dedicated to the subjective, the dream and the unconscious. For a long time, critics saw in surrealist photography only a pale imitation of the works created by painters and this is why it remained largely unexplored. Exposante-Fixe: Photography and Surrealism shows how a few pioneers used the ability of the photographic lens to observe the eye to serve surrealist subjectivity. This book also challenges the conventional wisdom that a surrealist photograph is necessarily a fake image. On the contrary, the Surrealists have, on the contrary, largely exploited truth photography to illustrate their literary or theoretical texts. No one before (except Walter Benjamin) had studied these photographs in the context of the novel, poetry or prose they accompanied when first published. This book abounds in fantastic images born of the manipulation, in the darkroom, of the games of light and chance. Erotic, disturbing, disconcerting or humorous, they are among the most beautiful and bewitching that the surrealist vision has inspired artists such as Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, Max Ernst, André Breton, Brassaï, Salvador Dali, André Kertész, Raoul Ubac, Jaques-André Boiffard, Lee Miller and Hans Bellmer.