Surrealism freud and jung relationship

Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung

surrealism freud and jung relationship

Influenced by the writings of psychologist Sigmund Freud, the literary, intellectual, and artistic movement called Surrealism sought a revolution against the. Keywords: Art and Psychology, Surrealism, Freud, Magritte, Dalí, Kahlo, .. Other than aiding in the perception of a relationship between reality. By , Breton had written a manifesto in which he defined surrealism as "pure is central to the process of dreaming and lies at the heart of Freud's theory on Another connection we might make to the influence of de Chirico is the work of . the interest in Freud, and later in Jung, contributed to an emphasis on myth.

Poets and artists believed that they could bypass the rational process and depend more on the expression of the unconscious through automatic writing and drawing. In the history ofart, the search formeaning beyondmere appearances found a powerful support in the Surrealist movement.

Surrealism grew directly from Dadaism. Like Dadaism, Surrealism emphasized the role of the unconscious in creative activity, but it employed the psychic unconscious in a more ordered manner.

Dadaism, Surrealism and the Unconscious | Louis Lagana -

Historically it all started in Paris in when Andre Breton, a poet and critic, gathered a group of artists, poets, and writers who wanted to free their creativity from the constraints of reason and thus embarked on the exploration of the unconscious mind. The discovery of primitive man through his art determined a new perspective ofinvestigation, which was linked more c1oselyto the spirit of primordial man.

The surrealists attempted to find the hidden nature of the artist, that is, the 'primitive unconscious'. The unconscious is part of the nature in man, the basic stuffbehind human consciousness. This applies not only to the primitive ancestor but also to any human in any civi1ization. Hal Foster gives an intriguing definition and explanation how and why the 'primitive' became part of the unconscious Westem civilization: Historically, the primitive is articulated by the West in deprivative or supplemental terms: There is nothing 13 Ibid.

Invitation to a Dada according to laws of chance, Evening! This domesticate primitive is thus constructive, not disruptive, of the binary ratia of the West; fixed as a structural opposite or a dialectical other to be incorporated, it assists in the establishment ofWestem identity, centre, norm, and name. In its modemist version the primitive may appear transgressive, it is true, but it still serves as a limit: Accepting the fact that 'artistic creativity originates deep within the psyche of the artist',n it is also acknow1edged that the art ofthe primitives was without any form ofrepression.

Therefore it 'emerges directly and spontaneously from psychological drives'. The Surrealists pursued theirresearch in the arts and culture ofprimitive man, to understand their own hidden nature - 'their' unconscious.

Evan Maurer writes c1early on this subject: Primitive society found the answers to the questions of life in the spirit world and the realm of dream. The Surrealists, in studying Primitive arts and cultures, followed a similar path. It has been recognized that in Primitive societies the relationship between art and the creative process is closely influenced by magic, a subject that provides another affinity between the Surrealists and the Primitive.

For the latter, the magical qualities ofthe object depend on its role as an embodiment and power.

Surrealism: The Art of Self Discovery

They believed that the primitive state could only be reached through the thoughts and images that arise from the unconscious through dreams. Also, in the early days of this movement, artists made use of drugs and hypnotism to enter into the dream-like state and a state of the unconscious and be able to extract images and ideas. Surrealists 'dreams were valuable simply for poetic content, as documents from a marvellous world'.

They are rather explorations into an interior landscape.

surrealism freud and jung relationship

Although Freudian psychology played an important role in the development of Surrealist thinking, the Surrealists borrowed only what was appropriate for them. Their aim was to change the view of mankind, not to offer an objective scientific contribution to psychology.

So it was natural for the Surrealists to create dream-like scenes and images that are impossible to find in the natural world. Surrealist painting shows a great variety of content and technique. Salvador Dali for example, painted with a photographic-like accuracy and made his images look bright, intense, and alive. His paintings expressed a kind of 'theatrical illusion' to the spectators. He was perhaps one of the Surrealists who provoked 'the most difficult questions about the possible realization of dreams on canvas, and hence about the symbolic function of the imagery'.

Freud himself explains this when he met Dali in in London.

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It is not the unconscious I seek in your pictures, but the conscious. While in the pictures ofthe masters - Leonardo or Ingres - that which interests me, that which seems mysterious and troubling to me, is precisely the search for unconscious ideas, of an enigmatic order, hidden in the picture.

Your mystery is manifested outright. The picture is but a mechanism to reveal itself. Freud's general theme in this major work is that dreams are disguised wish-fulfilment, manifestations of repressed sexual desires and energy. The symbolist artists and the metaphysical paintings ofGiorgio de Chirico also inspired these artists. The so-called 'Veristic' Surrealists did not interpret the idea of automatism as abstraction. Instead they believed that they should let the images of the unconscious surface undisturbed.

This perhaps could be attributed to the writings of Karl Jung. For them, academic discipline and form was a means to create images and freeze them as they emerged from the unconscious.

Carl Jung: Why I parted ways with Freud

On the other hand, Surrealism could have a more abstract approach like the works of Joan Mir6, Max Emst, and Andre Masson who invented the spontaneous technique known as 'Automatism', modelled on the psychotherapeutic procedures of Freud's 'free association'. Abstractionism was for them the only way to bring out images from the unconscious to consciousness without loading them with 'meaning'. A1though artists who used Automatism and Veristic Surrealism held different ideas and ways of expression, both are inherently searching for the same purity ofthought, that is, the exploration ofthe unconscious mind.

At first painting was only mentioned in a footnote of the Surrealist Manifesto that announced Surrealism as a literary movemenU 3 Later on, 'it claimed, however, to take in the whole spectrum of human activity'. Colin Rhodes argues that: The Surrealist appeal to the unconscious can be regarded as Primitivist in so far as psychological reliance upon the operations was considered at the time, not least via their reading of Freud, to belong to a much earlier period in human development, that is prior to the growth of conscious, rational thought, as with children and tribal people.

Dawn Ades also confirms this in her writing: The art of adults was seen to be repressed and contaminated. Joan Mir6 was one of the first Surrealists to be inspired by the art of children. His strange images, remnants of various parts of the imagined human body, derived from children 's games, became the basis for his early works.

Surrealism and Freudian Theory

Mir6 took advantage of any form and used all sorts of materials to bring out the desired shapes. He used sponges, rags or burlap. His process in painting had two stages. The form becomes a sign for a woman or a bird as I work The first stage is free, unconscious. He tumed away from a representational style and made use of automatism. Breton commented that 'by his "pure psychic automatism" Mir6 might "pass as the most surrealist ofus all".

In the late twenties, his interest in sculpture was becoming more evident and he derived his inspiration from the art of Primitive American Indians.

surrealism freud and jung relationship

Emst produced a series of sculpture with a totemic nature. Even his masks had a symbolic, magical quality and a personal sacredness. Due to the rigors of socialization, primal desires are suppressed and base instincts are repressed. However, the mind has its own economy and that which has been buried must be expressed through displacement and transference, or through substitution.

This part of the mind is doomed to indirectness but is compensated by a surplus of poetry and metaphors. The result is a transformation of the unreachable primal script into a metamorphosis, which collapses reality and dream.

The paintings of Salvador Dali, such as The Persistence of Memoryare crafted with the precision and dedication of the Dutch still lives to which the artist paid homage. The dream becomes manifested in the flesh of the pigments and becomes more alive and intense and more memorable than reality which pales in comparison.

Personal Values is especially rich in conceptual play: What brings all of these found objects together in this inverted room? Like an undeveloped photograph, the contents of the mind are latent, speaking in a secret language that is wholly private and individual. Surrealism sought this secret language through the fixing of the dream images into works of art. But there was another element of Freudian theory that found its way into Surrealist art, the concept of automatic writing: In Europe After the RainMax Ernst may have practiced frottage but he used his rubbings to good effect and aided and prodded the metamorphosis into the recognizable.

Nevertheless, the viewer is disoriented. The collapse of distinctions between a finished work and a work in process, between the familiar and the strange, between the fragment and the macrocosm forbids a purchase on reality and creates a mirroring or doubling. The unformed or uninformed sight convulses itself into a condition of revelation as the underlying workings of the mind are revealed through the Surrealist work of art.