Surrealism

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Abstract

Surrealism has a prominent place within histories of 20th-Century art and culture and many of its practitioners are canonized as artists and writers. Yet its ambitions extend far beyond artistic representation as it seeks the revolutionary transformation of the world. Surrealists emphasize imagination, desire, dreams, eroticism, and the unconscious in their efforts to release the marvelous possibilities that lie dormant or suppressed within everyday life and space. Emerging initially in Paris during the 1920s, and developing in numerous countries worldwide, surrealist groups operate in the contentious realm between art and politics in their efforts to overturn capitalism and bourgeois rationalism. Geographical questions, involving in particular spaces and architectures of the modern city, but also natural environments and geopolitical imaginaries, have played a critical role in their revolutionary projects. Yet surrealism's influence on geographical thought has been largely indirect, mainly through intermediary social theorists. Deepening understandings of surrealist geographies can contribute much to theoretical and practical debates about the historical geographies of modernity and modernism, about social and spatial theory, and about how spaces are imagined, represented, and experienced as well as how they may be reimagined and remade.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
EditorsAudrey Kobayashi
Number of pages6
Volume13
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherElsevier
Publication date2020
Edition2
Pages139-145
ISBN (Print)9780081022955
ISBN (Electronic)9780081022962
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Surrealism
  • Art
  • Radical geography
  • Marxism
  • Dream
  • Everyday life
  • Imagination

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