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Profane Illumination: Rick Poynor on Surrealism and the Visual Unconscious

Slicing Open the Eyeball.

Alfred Hitchcock, Salvador Dali, dream sequence, Spellbound.

Live, now, on Thought Catalog:

My interview with the visual-culture critic Rick Poynor. And I quote:

“More than just the preeminent commentator on the social role and cultural politics of graphic design in contemporary culture, the English cultural critic Rick Poynor is our most reliable dashboard navigator through the visual landscape, a politically astute, historically literate GPS plotting our course through the forest of signs.

Time-conservation keywords: “Pure psychic automatism,” the book Permanent Revelation, the Baudelairean flâneur, the Surrealist wanderer in Paris in the 1920s, the Situationist on a dérive in the 1950s, hasard objectif, Slavic Surrealism, Poetism, Richard M. Powers, Yves Tanguy, Ed Emshwiller, Jan Svankmajer, SF and Surrealism.

Teaser:

In fact, in the decades since I found Surrealism as a teenager…there was never a time when I gave up on it. […] That youthful encounter blasted open a mental door and what was on the other side—there is so much on the other side—has never ceased to be meaningful to me.

…When I look at Surrealist art, it still delivers its mysterious psychic shocks. Surrealism codified a poetic principle that has always existed as a possibility and still exists in life and art “after Surrealism.” “There is another world,” said Paul Éluard, “but it is in this one.” This, for me, is a guiding principle—the illuminating essence of the Surrealist revelation. I’m deeply attracted to the fantastic, the strange, the marvelous, the nameless, the uncanny, but not in the flimsy, escapist sense of fantasy otherworlds remote from our own. I’m searching for the fantastic, the unaccountable, in the tangible world, in ordinary experience and everyday life, the moments when something unexpected but deeply thrilling is suddenly manifest. The mystery is here if we would but see it. We are bound to try to talk about this, but it eludes final explanation and that’s the measure of its power.

More, at Thought Catalog, HERE.

Alfred Hitchcock and Salvador Dali, dream sequence, Spellbound.

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