Art in Theory

Surrealism; Methods used by surrealists’ artists to incorporate “pure psychic automatism” into the practice of making art and major theories behind this movement. Ways and means used by Surrealists to unite art and psychology with radical political and social engagement. Surrealist was formally formed as small literal movement which witnessed its enormous growth over time to assume revolutionary political as well as cultural perspectives in the active responsibilities in the society. Many artists have been involved in the clear classification of its role in contemporary society with several regarding it as an aspects incorporated in the imagery dream regarded as idiosyncratic style of modern art. A theory advocated by Breton’s states that this concept heavily depends on vision to achieve its relevancy. They regard vision as the most powerful sense among all the senses which propel this concept to its achievement. The correlation that exists between vision in surrealism and painting according to this theory is the ability of the concept to fix properly and appropriately the visual imagery in the vision. Therefore, this connection and ability do offer the surrealism an opportunity to have some interests in the painting field. The disconnection that existed between art and reality is the concentration of art which was initially focused on the outer world as opposed to connection and much emphasis to reality itself (Charles and Paul, “Introduction to Surrealism,” AiT,  25).

Therefore for surrealist work to be fruitful and beneficial in its operations, the focus should be concentrated on the inner reality which in turn would concentrate on the painting art work. Breton’s idea for the workings of this model was regarded as Picasso. Picasso maintained constant mordant hostility towards all the proponents of conventional business as well as art criticism. The leading avant – gardists for instance Derain, and Matisse were also not spared in the criticism as well as the original collaborator of Picassos’ the Braque and most especially those who established a school from the cubism concept. Initially visual surrealist works are dated back in 1925 involving collectivity concepts of the expert authors and their technique that involved the use of literary production. The aim of surrealist works was to use the painting and art concepts with utilization of Breton words in order to create conscience disturbance in the bourgeois minds which would consequently create a revolution for the elimination of radical politics to harmonize them with social movements that were against the bourgeois mentality for equality in the society. The art workings employed by surrealists to provoke the conscience of bourgeois was a tool paramount for revolutionary efforts to create a just, fair and equal society. However, there was strong opposition for surrealism ideas and art work to be publically presented and accepted by the bourgeois class which creates a strong opposition for the movements with their radical policies and conditions against the social movements many of which were spearheaded by social movements with contrary doctrinal foundations from the former (Charles and Paul, “Philosophical Surrealism,” AiT, 79).

However, they received a great boost in 1928 when their first publication was made and published in full pamphlet in 1928. This became the first piece of work for surrealism art and painting to initiate their efforts for cohesion and unity between art, psychology, radical politics and social movements.  The fixation of visual art is a paramount feature that greatly assist and boosts the work of surrealism theorists who have viewed it not only as advocating the equality in society but also as a source of new veritable language which was greatly viewed as one of the most important step towards realization of surrealist society. However art has been given very low regard in the society with little or no emphasis to the modernity and its importance. However, this perception has long been evaded and art has received a great concern towards realization of unnoticeable features in the society which has bridge the gap between the bourgeois who are inclined to radical politics and social movements who advocate and strive to achieve an equal society through the use of art and paintings. Through utilization of all other options without success, the surrealists opted to utilize art and painting which satirically brought consciousness to the radical politicians of their importance to respect and consider all other stakeholders interest in the society (Steve and Paul, “Towards an equal society,” quoted in AAG, 13). Some of the examples of art involved in surrealism included use of realistic looking objects to convey their message while using them in an unusual context to fit their purpose. For instance the Rene Magritte apple for a face used in Europe, the Metaphysics of the interior with  Biscuits, the use of The Persistence of memory by Salvador Dali’s besides his Shirley Temple, The Youngest and Mark Ernst’s The Elephant Celebes.

It was also a wakeup call for the social movements to stand up and be counted for their advocacy activities for justice in all aspects of life in a holistic manner which involved social, economic, political and cultural fields. Therefore, surrealism utilized not only their intellect, but also involved the paint work as well as art to state their point. These were proper and humane grounds that finally prepared for a proper platform for revolutionary efforts to take place and finally be fruitful. Lastly surrealism used several methods that were aimed at uniting art and psychology with the existing radical political thinkers as well as social movements. Dialogue, negotiations and petitions to mediation talks were some of the most frequently utilized methods used by surrealism. However when their efforts for this method failed, they opted to utilize revolutionary movements which finally brought sanity in the society but was opted as the last resort after all other means and ways were fruitless in their operations. Many surrealists were involved in this struggle with most notable work been that of Max Ernst and Freud who presented an incredible work of art and paint in revolutionary efforts. Their works strongly emphasized on the importance and power of a dream and visions which were of significance to apparently incongruous associated thoughts and apparently unreasonable free associative ideas (Charles and Paul, “Can surrealism be a success,” quoted in AAG, 103).

Constructivism; Ways used by Soviet and European artists in the 1920s and 1930s to dissolve art into life. Social constructivism is the use of human consciousness and awareness with their role and contributions to the world matters and affairs. Mostly this theory is coupled with the neorealism which in most instances composes of material awareness and focuses on how the economic, social and political divisions are placed in the society. The material distribution in the society, political arrangements as well as cultural settings of various ethnic groups greatly influences these settings and how society relates with its constituent components. The state balances involving power is also explained by social constructivism and also the relationship in behavioral terms of various states through their mutual interrelationship and independence. This study in the international front should also focus on the beliefs and ideas guiding international relations and features of different interdependent nations and their interactions. The concept does not consider social reality as an external nor objective phenomenon while focus is on the international affairs as compared to a national concern and focus. The emphasis concentrates on the human consciousness as a dependent variable with the political and social world, which incorporates the relations of states and nations in the international front viewed not as physical entities or material objects but as part and parcel of internal human consciousness (Steve and Paul, “Socialism the just way, AiT, 45).

The social constructivism is incorporated not as an object in space existence without form and in an un-monitored state driven by material forces, but exists in an inter-subjective concept driven by human ideas and guiding principle within human relations. This concept is hypothetical in ideological set up of human ideas dependent on their perception and ideas towards a certain system and form of interactions defined differently in a given society. Therefore its study should not be regarded as independent and outside the interactions of human beings but to a larger extent, it constitutes the human interactions as well state relations which must be then used to guide and shape the interactions between individual components in the society. With this regard, when there is a change in the ideas, concepts and the way international relations are conducted, the system of social constructivism changes as well due to its natural occurrence that it is composed of human thoughts and ideas. Theorists who defined this concept like Alexander Wendt, anarchy stated its usefulness and importance in the human interactions. Constructivism was an increasingly used phenomenon and approach that was widely used in both 1920s and 1930s by masses of the both Soviet Union and European countries to centralize power and monitor changes in power balancing between the developed and developing nations (Charles and Paul, “Inequalities in socio-economic and political, AiT, 209).

The emergence of Parsimonious Neorealist was more significance to enhance the adoption of constructivism than any other approach. Neorealist emphasized the checking of powers in a holistic manner; economic, social, political and culturally for nations to ensure that developed nations do not exploit the developing ones at the peril of the latter. Within an individual state, the constructivism emphasizes on the need to use internal checks and balance to ensure that the bourgeois does not capitalize the opportunities available within a state to exploit on the proletariats within a state. This concept within the Soviet Union was aimed at ensuring that the balancing of powers within the states guarantees the individual members’ own security as well as liberty. In the European Union, the same situation applied to the same phenomenon when nations checked on balances of other states to ensure that they are not exploiting the spirit of partnership due to the vulnerable state of other nations. The protection of other nations as well ensured European Union is immune from all the concepts of power exploits from other strong and emerging nations who may take the opportunity for other economically and politically weak states (Steve and Paul, “Economic and political Liberation,” quoted in AAG, 201).

Constructivism theorists argued that it’s based and concentrates mostly focusing on the ideas and thoughts of human beings that leads to a better power balancing and a good accepted anarchy.  The factors that greatly assisted the constructivists in both Soviet Union and European Union were the inspirations that they got from other disciplines like sociology and philosophy. The sociologist who contributed to this concept is Anthony Giddens (1984) who advanced through a preposition that the concept of ‘structuration’ is the best way to analyze the concepts of human relations, all the concerned structures and involved actors in the state and inter – state relations. Many constructivist theorists tried to emphasize on the use of idea and thought change to transform the society through proper checks and balances. Many theories inclined to social constructivism both in Soviet Union and European countries included among others; Hoffman who analyzed the social constructivism from a psychoanalytic point of view and situational set up, Ruggie who concentrated on neo – utilitarianism perspective, Williams was a French scholar who participated in the explanation of the human relations as inter – dependent on their thoughts, imaginations, visions, imagery minds and ideas to relate to one another (Charles and Paul, “Social constructivism,” quoted in AAG, 232).

Christian and Jorgensen concentrated on the European social constructivism while emphasizing on the important phenomenon of symbol usage as well as signs to mean equality. Others involved in the explanation of how social constructivism was important in ensuring balance of power socio-economical, political and culturally included; Winner who approached the topic from a technological point of view as well as psychological perspective of human being especially those in power who would consequently influence how a state is run. J. Fulk concentrated on communication technology with a logic that out depends with how people interact and communicate to each other that will create and portray a difference in their inter – relation with other. How well two states are established in communication technology determines their relation both materially and ideologically. However out of all these considerations, the artists who concentrated on social constructivism in soviet were successful in both 1920s and 1930s before the individual states were involved in cold war. Their success mostly originated from their close touch and address of core issues that touched on daily lives of the populations in the Soviet Union. Both ideological and communication technology that was emphasized by this artists, were the real concerns of the population and quickly established a point of connection between their argument and the real situation on the ground. The collectivity that the artists involved in artistic work in Soviet Union used solely relied on the additional set up of individual countries therefore yielding touchable results (Steve and Paul, “Communication as an ideology,” AiT, 412,). Some art work that are used to depict this constructivism included some paintings on tenure, decorations for bravely, money carvings, demonstration of citizenship besides used of portraits from US presidents, the use of Quarks are described as social construction, Canadian woman of refuge is also regarded as social construed.

Identity Politics; how Mexican Muralists, Surrealists, Indian and American Modernists introduce new, subversive contents into modern art with regard to categories of social identity.

Mexican muralism represents a form of art movement in Mexico that happened primarily during the early 1930s. The political under tones that were closely affiliated with this movement makes it historically stand out in due time with reference to contemporary societies. Its ideological underpinning mostly contains Marxist ideological and thoughts that are heavily borrowed to form its foundations. This art is paramount in studying the political, social, and economic identity of Mexican muralists because of its reference to the political environment after the post – revolutionary Mexico. Several scholars associated with this ideological perspective includes; Jose Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros who also had great influence in the United States due to their working at one point of their careers in artistic work. Their artistic work was inclined to their appeal for the left wing political affiliations against what they regarded as social injustices especially against women who were greatly discriminated. The social protest of these artists concentrated on the gender differences, women were harshly treated and they used painting to convey their point. Social class was also another point of their concern in their artistic work (Charles and Paul, “Economic, socio-cultural and political identity, AiT, 602).

Surrealist is and perspective that was advocated by Karl Marx who claimed the social, political and economic inequality that exists between bourgeoisie and proletariat was a creation of human beings that only existed in ideological forms and human thoughts. Marx advocated the unity of majority proletariats to assume power to overcome the minority bourgeoisie. His argument was based on the fact that, few control political, social, cultural and economic activities while majority who are proletariats only earns their living from the mercies of the bourgeoisie. Therefore, if proletariats can join forces, they can create dictatorship against the bourgeoisie who are few. In terms of gender and race inequalities and identity, the same logic applies that the minority are and can be overcome by the unity of majority who are suppressed due to their divided principle and ideology (Steve and Paul, “Towards realization of equality,” quoted in AAG, 645).

The Indian modernists were actively involved during late 1930s and early 1940s when Indian was preparing to get independence and self rule from the British. At the eve of colonial handover, it was apparent that India would be two states instead of one. This was due to the political affiliations, social settings and cultural backgrounds. The race competition and rivalry between Muslims and Hindu was increased by the British rule of divide and rule. Therefore for equity and peace to prevail it was ideologically mind and thought set that they are one only colonial master separated them to rule them. This ideological mind set assisted them to achieve social, economical and political equity. American modernists represented those who chose to work there even after independence and World War II. Their origin was different in terms of culture but they adopted everything as American. For instance Max Weber was originally Russian, Oscar Bluemner was German but they were ideologically prepared to work and live in America. To demonstrate its only about thoughts and ideological set up, they totally adopted and practiced American culture, owned land and other political holdings to beat the notion of social, political and race inequality (Steve and Paul, “Race and Gender equality, AiT, 669). Some art work in these fields involved the Toreador used to depict sacred ceremony, Frescoes used in Greece, Egypt and Morocco, Tomb of the Diver, Wall paintings especially in Rome called the Villa dei Misteri, Paestum in Italy, Catacombs in Rome and walls in Ajanta caves depicted equality both social, economical and political.   

Order now

Related essays