Diagram for Surrealism

Diagram for Surrealism

 

Surrealism means “below reality.”  The movement was inspired by Sigmund Freud and is characterized by an attempt to delve below ordinary, waking, conscious reality into the realm of the unconscious, the irrational, the imaginative.  Surrealists were convinced that there was an important dimension of humanity, the unconscious, which had long been neglected and which exercises an enormous amount of influence over human lives. Like the tip of an iceberg, that of which humans are consciously aware, that which is above the surface, is only a small part of what constitutes the human personality.  A much greater and powerful reality lies underneath the surface.  Surrealists wanted to explore below the surface of reality and into the realm of the unconscious.  Following the lead of Sigmund Freud, who was known to say that “The Dream is the royal road to the Unconscious,” surrealists utilized dreams to access and expose the unconscious.  Many expressions of Surrealism have a dream-like quality.