Surrealist Manifesto Analysis

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TOPIC 9

Andre Breton, who wrote the Surrealist Manifesto, remarked that beauty in a Surrealist sense is encountered by “the unexpected meeting, on a dissection table, of a sewing machine and an umbrella.” How would you interpret this? How would you relate this to the works by Surrealist artists? Refer to specific compositions in your discussion.

AIK XUAN XUN EZRA, A0124669W
24 October 2014

Surrealism was a means of reuniting conscious and unconscious realms of experience so completely, that the world of dream and fantasy would be joined to the everyday rational world in an absolute reality, a surreality.” The unexpected meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissection
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The image is as simple as it gets. It consists mainly of a plain pipe set on a very plain background proved to be immaculately isolated. A very common wooden pipe with a curved stem hovers, floats or levitates unaided against a background. Isolated in its own right, with only the words ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ placed very deliberately under it. What is so strange, or bizarre in the surrealist sense, is not the seeming contradiction between the text and the image because a contradiction can only exist between two statements. Rather, its is our own familiar routine manner of perceiving things that we assume a connection between the text and the image. Magritte has argued that in relation to a different set of images, neither the painted image nor the words are, in actuality, a pipe. He presents this contradiction in its simplest form, ‘a calligram that Magritte has secretly constructed, then carefully unraveled’ (ibid, pg20) highlighting the difference between the ‘separation of linguistic signs and plastic elements’. Magritte combines verbal signs and plastic elements together but without ‘referring them to prior isotopism’. This is Magritte’s attempt to expose us of our own immediate automaticity that is so deeply…show more content…
It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.” The Son of Man, 1964 is synonymous with the surrealist artist Rene Magritte. The painting depicts a man wearing a bowler hat and dark suit standing in front of a wall with the sea behind him. A green apple that is hovering covers up almost his entire face. The man in the painting is standing very stiff with arms by his side, straight down and unmoving. He looks forward with a blank stare and it appears as if his left eye is slightly peeking over the green apple. He is next to a wall that overlooks a vast body of water (the subconscious) and the grey clouds in the distance hint the coming of a storm. In the typical surrealist sense, we feel that there is a ‘process or ritual or scenario that is momentarily frozen, tantalizing through its success may be in eluding our attempts at reconstruction, decipherment or continuation’ (Milton pg32). Looking at the right hand, the right hand is slightly in front while the left takes the back position. Closer scrutiny of the left arm at the elbow we would notice that it’s a bulge and it appears that his left arm is backwards and that it might be in fact, the back portion of the right arm. It appears as if we are looking at the man from behind instead. This oscillation of
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