Man Ray, The Gift (Cadeau) 1921

Surrealist Object Galleries

Alberto Ríos / Lo real maravilloso

Laura Cruser, Comb, 2004

                 The Surrealist Object Galleries are presentations of some Surrealist objects created for Alberto Ríos’s Magical Realism classes. The challenge was to create, in the manner of the Surrealists, juxtapositions of wildly dissimilar things in order to create a third reality, a surreality—as in Lautremont’s description of the chance meeting of the parasol and the sewing machine on the operating table.

An additional option was the negation of the regular, what the Russian formalists called “defamiliarization.”

Some good examples of such these objects are Man Ray’s “The Gift,” a flatiron studded with nails, and Meret Oppenheimer’s “Object,”  which was a fur-lined teacup.  So much of the function, so much of the identity of the iron has to do with with ironing, that even its verb is the same as its noun.  An iron is to iron.  When that function is removed, however, does the iron stop being an iron?  If it does stop being an iron—bad iron!—then what have we now suddenly given to the world?

The music for these pages is by Erik Satie. Revered by the Surrealists, and a member of the gang, he composed radically new works beginning in the later 1800s and into the early 1900s. He was often the High Judge of the Surrealist “courts.” The music for this page is: “Trois Gnossiennes,” composed in 1890. This is a simple midi file from what used to be the Erik Satie archive, but Satie’s music can be heard at many sites.

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Site created 9-27-01

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Monday, September 18, 2017