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SURREALISM: ANDRE BRETON ON DADA & SURREALISM
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ART AS REVOLUTIONARY

ANDRE BRETON ON DADA & SURREALISM & FROM EARTHBOUND ANGELS THE POEM CLOTHED IN BEAUTY'S DELIGHT RAGING THROUGH CARNIVAL NIGHTS :VARIATIONS ON A THEME


PORTRAIT OF SURREALIST ANDRE BRETON (1896-1966)
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EXQUISITE CORPSE BY ANDRE BRETON & OTHER DADAIST
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MARCEL DUCHAMPS(1887-1968) LARGE GLASS PIECE "THE BRIDE STRIPPED BARE BY HER BACHELORS EVEN"
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"The Large Glass has been called a love machine, but it is actually a machine of suffering. Its upper and lower realms are separated from each other forever by a horizon designated as the "bride's clothes". The bride is hanging, perhaps from a rope, in an isolated cage, or crucified. The bachelors remain below, left only with the possibility of churning, agonized masturbation. "
see: wwar.com/masters/d/duchamp-marcel
Marcel Duchamp (1887 - 1968)


MARCEL DUCHAMP'S(1887-1968) READY MADE "THE FOUNTAIN"
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Duchamp defended the piece in the magazine The Blind Man, (which he edited), with these words:
"Whether Mr. Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He chose. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under a new title and point of view ...[creating] a new thought for that object." When the "morality" of such an object was questioned he responded, "It is a fixture that you see every day in plumbers' show windows... The only works of art America has given [us] are her plumbing and her bridges."

AND HERE ARE MORE Gleanings from the net on Andre Breton & DADA & Surrealism:

André Breton, 1896-1966: French poet and critic, a leader of the surrealist movement. He...studied medicine, and worked in psychiatric wards in World War I. Later, as a writer in Paris, he was a pioneer in the antirationalist movements in art and literature known as Dadaism and surrealism, which developed out of the general disillusionment with tradition that marked the post-World War I era. Breton's study of the works of Sigmund Freud and his experiments with automatic writing influenced his initial formulation of surrealist theory. He expressed his views in Literature, the leading surrealist periodical, which he helped found and edited for many years, and in three surrealist manifestos (1924, 1930, 1942). His best creative work is considered the novel Nadja (1928), based partly on his own experiences. His poetry, in Selected Poems (1948; trans. 1969), reflects the influence of the poets Paul Valery and Arthur Rimbaud.

ANDRE BRETON ON DADA:

“Dada is not at all modern. It is more in the nature of a return to an almost Buddhist religion of indifference. Dada covers things with an artificial gentleness, a snow of butterflies released from the head of a prestidigitator. Dada is immobility and does not comprehend the passions. You will call this a paradox, since Dada is manifested only in violent acts. Yes, the reactions of individuals contaminated by *destruction* are rather violent, but when these reactions are exhausted, annihilated by the Satanic insistence of a continuous and progressive "What for?" what remains, what dominates is *indifference.* But with the same note of conviction I might maintain the contrary.”

And then Breton goes on becoming more & more metaphysical & drifts outwards into the ether as if he were going into a trance channeling some ancient one from “ the seven realms ” as he says:

"Dada is a state of mind. That is why it transforms itself according to races and events. Dada applies itself to everything, and yet it is nothing, it is the point where the yes and the no and all the opposites meet, not solemnly in the castles of human philosophies, but very simply at street corners, like dogs and grasshoppers.

Like everything in life, Dada is useless.

Dada is without pretension, as life should be.

Perhaps you will understand me better when I tell you that Dada is a virgin microbe that penetrates with the insistence of air into all the spaces that reason has not been able to fill with words or conventions. ”

But then Breton leaves the Dadaist movement & creates the Surrealist movement as Breton states his case:

"Leave everything. Leave Dada. Leave your wife. Leave your mistress. Leave your hopes and fears. Leave your children in the woods. Leave the substance for the shadow. Leave your easy life, leave what you are given for the future. Set off on the road."

Websites from which bits & pieces have been used, borrowed, or stolen & for further reading & exploration as insight into the Modern Artist's dream & dilemma:

Andre Breton & DADA
www.ex.ac.uk/drama/dada/

/www.kirjasto.sci.fi/abreton

Andre Breton & DADA
www.ex.ac.uk/drama/dada/

See: Mark Harden’s Artchive: DADA AND SURREALISM
Surrealist.com

391:dada
www.391.org/dada.

History of Surrealism
www.bway.net/~monique/history

ArtLex on Surrealist Art
www.artlex.com/

More on Breton & other members of Dada at another time.

Is the following poem an alternate version of my poem The Rose of
Sharon or a variation on a theme . Artists will often repaint the same objects or themes as in still lifes or landscapes or seascapes for instance Van Gogh painted dozens of variations of Sunflowers. Others have attempted to recapture a particular moment or feeling of love of despair. Should a writer or poet be permitted the same self-indulgences. Where does one draw the line between mere tinkering & editing & the creation of a new work. If there is nothing new under the sun then how can there be newly created works of art. So here is the poem ,if you will, Clothed in Beauty’s Delight. Am I overstating the case or understating it .
Anyway something to think about during moments of intense activity.

Earthbound Angel
Clothed in beauty's delight raging through carnival nights

Earthbound angel clothed in beauty's delight
a gift from God to man
for man's carnal delight.

Raging through carnival nights
in a momentary glance
knowingly changing roles
slipping into someone else's
illusion & fantasy
of love & sex's
overarching passion
dancing/flirting
on the outer shell of the soul
Kissing/caressing/touching
never touching the soul
searching in madness
souls left untouched
imprisoned in steel forged
over years decades
centuries of reason gone mad
chained souls in locked rooms
with iron doors
if a voice is heard within
they pour molten lead
into the shaft above the room
to silence it -

Ah poor Earthbound Angel
clothed in beauty's delight
all those you walk among
are deaf to your angel's song
seeing only beauty's delight
they are but flesh & bone
your true voice they cannot hear
these refugees cast adrift
in a dying world
their souls are fugitives
lost in the dark forest of the night
at the gates of the earth's core.

Becoming a howling raging
sad-eyed earthbound angel
speaking in cryptic unknown tongues
reading between the lines
reading meaning into shallow
empty words & phrases
their speech is as sounding brass
& tinkling cymbals
your chamaeleon changes
in a twinkling of an eye
are all in vain-

Ah, poor earthbound angel
know this the time has not come
for Elijah's return
only false prophets
fill the streets of Babylon
with their howling & Gnashing of Teeth
for we have forgotten
the language of angels
who circle round about us
we cannot hear them
we no longer know how to listen
for them-

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