Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent

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9781860643798: Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent
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This clear and challenging re-evaluation of the status and usage of photographic images in historical surrealism puts surrealism's fundamental issues back into the framework of its historical purpose and function. David Bate asks what a surrealist photograph actually is. He discusses automatism and the photographic image, the surrealist passion for insanity, their ambivalent use of Orientalism and adoption of Sadean philosophy and the effect of fascism on the surrealists. Locating the use of photography by surrealists within the cultural discourses of that historical moment, Photography and Surrealism is a genuinely original contribution to the field. The book is illustrated with a range of surrealist images.

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David Bate is Course Leader in MA Photographic Studies and Senior Lecturer in Photography Theory, University of Westminster, London.

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""David Bate provides a rich feast of carefully researched insights into how photographers of the Breton Circle in Paris understood their activities as deeply socially transformative. This is a much-needed work of scholarly restoration, which reconnects surrealism with its own repressed histories as an instrumental practice of cultural and political resistance. This book is a welcome antidote to popular notions of Surrealism as apolitical 'shock art' or as phallocentric and sexually exploitive.""--Deborah Bright

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