Discipline: Art


A term coined by the French poet GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE (1880-1918) in 1917, and adopted as a name in the first Surrealist manifesto (1924), written by poet and critic ANDRE BRETON (1896-1966) in Paris.

It included the following declaration: 'Surrealism rests in the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of association neglected heretofore; in the omnipotence of the dream and in the disinterested play of thought.' It arose out of dada, but was more ambitious and internationally influential.

Like Dada, it declared the importance of the absurd, the irrational and involvement in political anarchy as a means of effecting social change. A literary as well as artistic movement, by the end of World War II it had largely disbanded as a coherent movement.

A Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism (Michigan, 1969)


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