THE PRINCIPLE OF “THE ENCOUNTER OF IMAGES” AND BLACK HUMOR IN SURREALIST PHOTOGRAPHY

И. А. ШИК / I. A. SHIK

Abstract


In the article, the researcher analyzed the representation of ―the encounter of the images‖ principle and black humor examples in Surrealist photography of the 1920s – 1970s. The author considered the works of Surrealist photographers created in France, Belgium, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, the USA, Mexico. The main ― fields‖ for the work of the principle of ― the encounter of the images‖ in Surrealist photography were nudes, portraits and staged pictures with a plot. In photomontages and photo collages, the Surrealist photographers developed their steady visual dictionary (motifs of a naked female body and its parts, hands, eyes, etc.). The Surrealist photographic manipulations tended to total eroticization and fetishization of reality, inherent in the artistic practice of the movement as a whole. For Surrealist ― the encounter of images‖ it was typical to combine the animate and inanimate, contributing to the birth of convulsive beauty and the appearance of the ― spark‖ effect. At the same time, during the process of photographic manipulations the automatic character of the photographic image was lost: the photograph became constructed; the technical skills of the author became more important (in the case of photomontage). In addition, the resulting images had their own internal logic that can be deciphered. In fact, manipulated photography was in the same situation as Surrealist painting: the long process of work creation leaded to the loss of spontaneity, enhancing its rational character. On the other hand, photomontage provided additional opportunities for conveying the subjective experiences and intellectual ideas of the author and promoted the approval of photography as an aesthetic medium. Contemporary ― surreal‖ photography, preferring the principle of ― the encounter of images‖ as the main expressive means, introduces significant changes in its use. The images offered by the masters of digital photography are often either utterly logical and intellectually accessible or represent an absurd accumulation of various things. Black humor became one of the main expressive means of Surrealist photography, helping photographers to go beyond aesthetically and ethically acceptable. Everyday life, transformed into the absurd theater, religion, virtue, the fear of death, an erotic desire vainly trying to disguise itself were Surrealist photography targets. Post- and postpostmodern photography inherits from the art of Surrealism a passion for black humor, giving it an increasingly grotesque and transgressive character

Keywords


Surrealism, photography, manipulative photography, photomontage, photocollage, the encounter of the images principle, black humor, modern art, Man Ray, M. Tabard, P. Nougé, J. Štyrský, K. Teige, F. Vobecký, J. Uelsmann

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