Changing Our Perspective
The surrealist perspective suggests that we can change our outlook. In the same way, every organic being continuously transforms while remaining essentially the same; our society undergoes constant change.
Embracing Modern Materialism
Modern science affirms that nature operates dialectically, not metaphysically. Nature doesn’t move in an eternally uniform, endlessly repeating cycle.
Darwin challenged the metaphysical concept that man, too, is merely a product of evolution. The reflection of evolution in human thought can only be grasped through dialectics.
In contrast to other philosophies, modern materialism embraces recent advances in natural science, acknowledging that even celestial bodies, like organic species, undergo cycles of formation and dissolution.
The ‘Crisis of the Object’
In the mid-1930s, Breton frequently referred to “The Crisis of the Object,” suggesting a new orientation toward the objects in our daily lives. The external object could become an extension of our subjective self, fostering a new awareness of reality.
This crisis also implied an attempt to change the world by altering the objects within it, deviating from their established physical properties and accepted roles. Within this framework, the relationship between individuals and objects shapes one’s consciousness.
Transforming the World
A person’s reality became a tapestry of shapes, colours, textures, and functions. Philosophically, the interaction between individuals and objects entailed an exchange between mind and matter, occurring within a framework that accommodated it.
The focus shifted from individual concerns to broadening one’s world perception. The Surrealists’ “Crisis of the Object” involved a return to abstract thinking. They sought to invent objects by deviating from their usual physical forms and accepted functions, thus transforming the world.
Surrealism spread globally at an astonishing pace, surpassing its philosophical roots. Surrealist artists enjoyed the privilege of imparting the precision of distinct forms to their artwork. Simultaneously, they acted directly upon the material world, demonstrating Surrealism’s profound impact on art and thought.
Influence and Legacy
The legacy of Surrealism extends beyond the canvas and into the realms of philosophy, politics, and our very perception of the world. The Surrealists’ rejection of conformity and exploration of the ‘crisis of the object’ continue to inspire artists, thinkers, and individuals seeking new perspectives on the world.
Surrealism, in all its complexity and diversity, reminds us that the boundaries of creativity and understanding are ever-expansive, waiting to be explored by those who dare to venture beyond the confines of convention.
- Surrealism and Change:
- The ‘Crisis of the Object’:
- Ades, Dawn. (1991) DALI. Thames and Hudson.
- Alquie, Ferdinand. (1965) The Philosophy of Surrealism. Ann Arbor Paperbacks.
- Finkelstein, Haim N. (1979) Surrealism and the Crisis of the Object. M. I. Research Press.
- Hughes, Gwyneth & Welfare, Simon. (1990) Red Empire. The Forbidden History Of the USSR. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London.
- Lewis, Helena. (1909) Dada Turns Red. The Politics of Surrealism. Edinburgh University Press.
- Miller, Daniel. (1987) Material Culture & Mass Consumption. Basil Blackwell.
- McLellan, David. (1975) Marx. Fontana Modern.
This article was written with ChatGPT, an AI language model, to help ensure clarity and coherence in the content.