The Unconscious

Surrealism attempts to retrieve images from the unconscious; thanks to depth psychology we know that unconscious thought determines who we are to a much greater extent than conscious thought, and that it is not advisable to ignore this.

But what does it mean, to retrieve images from the unconscious? How is this supposed to happen?

We are all familiar with images from the unconscious, from myths and fairy tales, and from dreams. They are not realistic images but fantasies, strange, unreal, confusing, beyond our grasp. And they rely on symbols: memorable and compelling shapes and objects. Myths and fairy tales tell us about gods, giants, kings, paradise and the underworld.

In a dream I once walked with Stalin from Moscow to Paris.

The Surrealist uses all of these things as stylistic devices:
strong symbols, combinations of objects that don’t belong together, strangeness, novel shapes, questioning the familiar by undermining and fracturing it, ignoring spatial reality.

Here is the recipe:
paint existing and non-existent objects as exactly and with as much plasticity as possible. Combine them as incongruously as possible and put them into a space where they don’t belong.

It’s that simple?
In principle, yes.
But something is missing there:
Don’t make it too easy for yourself.

    The Beginning I   The Beginning II   Spaces in the Pictures   Possibilities   Lettl about Lettl   The Messenger

    The Cage   Sense and Nonsense   Dreams   The Nightmare   The Title   The Psychiatrist   Interpretations