JCM312/The Avant-Garde (Discussion)

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René Magritte's The Treason of Images (1928-9).
  1. Group 1: Why were surrealists obsessed with dreams and the insane? What does Robert Hughes mean when he characterizes "neurosis" as "the permanent involuntary form of dreams"?
  2. Group 2: René Magritte's The Treason of Images (1928-9) contains the phrase, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" ("This is not a pipe"). What does Hughes feel is the significance of this phrase?
  3. Group 3: How does Hughes characterize the surrealist use of sexuality?
  4. Group 4: What previously dismissed forms of art (what Hughes calls, "kinds of expression") did surrealists advocate for? Why?
  5. What elements of surrealism do you see in these films?
    • Group 1 and 6: Entr'Acte (Clair, 1924)
    • Groups 2 and 5: Un Chien Andalou (Buñuel/Dalí, 1928)
    • Groups 3 and 4: Zero for Conduct (Vigo, 1933)
  6. All groups: Hughes maintains that "The [surrealist] object was collage in three dimensions" (p. 241). What do you think he means by this? (Meret Oppenheim's Luncheon in Fur is one example.)

Bibliography

  • Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980.

External links