surrealism vs dada
Surrealism, on the other hand, emerged in a decade of peace and prosperity. The wounds left behind by the War were either ignored—as in the neglect of the surviving veterans—or celebrated—as in the erections of many memorials. Surrealism is essentially a cerebral retreat of survivors who do not want to look back. The Surrealist poets, writers, and visual artists stage an psychological retreat from reality, either past or present, and seek what the late poet, Guillaume Apollinaire, called “sur-reality,” or a realism outside and beyond perceived reality. The regressive nature of Surrealism could be understood as healing and reconstructive, replacing an aggressive and public voice with a private exploration into the recesses of the unconscious. Dada was inherently reality-based and overtly political. Surrealism, on the other hand, shifted away from an oppositional stance towards a more theoretical position.
The lack of deference to commanders of any kind on the part of Dada came directly out of a world un-made by the Great War. As Robert L. Herbert pointed out in “The Arrival of the Machine: Modernist Art in Europe,” the Great War brought about a belated acceptance of modern technology. After this war, the artists reacted to machines as benign and beneficent. Le Corbusier called the home “a machine for living.” But Dada’s swerve to impersonal means of making art could be linked to the way in which impersonal machines were killing young people at random. Chance and randomness decided the fate of civilians and soldiers alike—all were at the mercy of a cultural clash between Old World notions of heroism and New World technology. There is a defiance and anger to Dada practices that links the artists and their attitudes to the War.
Salvador Dalí, The Persistence Of Memory (1931)
5. “History of Surrealism.” Sept 23, 2009.
The roots of Dada lay in pre-war avant-garde. The term anti-art, a precursor to Dada, was coined by Marcel Duchamp around 1913 to characterize works which challenge accepted definitions of art. Cubism and the development of collage and abstract art would inform the movement’s detachment from the constraints of reality and convention. The work of French poets, Italian Futurists and the German Expressionists would influence Dada’s rejection of the tight correlation between words and meaning.
SURREALISM, noun, masc. Pure psychic automatism by which it is intended to express either verbally or in writing the true function of thought. Thought dictated in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations.
Despite this negativistic nature, Dadaism influenced some important movements such as surrealism, pop art, punk rock, as well as some contemporary art styles. Antonin Artaud, Tristan Tzara, Raoul Hausmann, Johannes Baader and Max Ernst are some followers of this movement.
Surrealism is a movement that began in the 1920s. This movement grew out of Dadaism and was greatly influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud.
The movement was truly international with its echo heard in Romania, Germany, Switzerland, USA. Duchamp’s readymades, where he would work with manufactured goods to create what he would call art was both defiance of the set norms and a satire on the state of things. His toilet sheet sculpture as a piece of art earned him an iconic status as a Dada exponent.
Dadaism’s artistic tenets are based on having no truths, beliefs, or rules. It is about twisting reality and being outside the mainstream.