The Hell Butterfly

This is Not a Pipe

I thought about writing a short story for this but, well, I didn’t.

I’m too tired today. Not physically, but mentally. Trying to think about Surrealism made my head spin and I ended up daydreaming. In the weird way my mind does, I remembered something random: a video I once made about Classicists and style. This was in relation to Dadaism and Expressionism. According to Wikipedia, Surrealism was born out of Dadaism so I guess it makes sense I’d think of it. For the kicks, here’s the video.

That song is going to be in my head all day.

ImageI wish I could talk about Surrealism in a more cohesive way. I’d like to sound like I know what on Earth I’m going on about, ,but frankly I’m too tired to care.

We all know this picture, right? “This is not a pipe”. It’s kind of mind blowing when you think about it. It’s totally like Saussure. As you’ll know from a number of my posts I love Saussure’s theory that words are merely labels. Letters are just shapes that we humans created for the sole purpose of communication. I could go on about it all day, but perhaps I’ll save that for later. My 100th post is coming up soon so maybe I’ll dedicate that to blowing your mind with his ideas.

But in terms of this picture and surrealism, I can’t fully make a link. I don’t understand surrealism enough to talk about it. But I’m fascinated by the truth of it. It’s funny. It looks like a pipe, so surely it is a pipe, no? No. It is not a pipe. It is a drawing of a pipe. It is a visual representation of the concept you have in your mind of what a pipe is. The simplicity and truth of it makes me laugh.

I’ve been scrolling down the Surrealism page of Wikipedia for a bit. I’d hoped there would be more pictures. But I did come across a name I remember. Max Ernst. I’ve seen that name before, and for those who watched the video above for the laughs you may recall seeing his name come up. I’m pretty sure I mentioned him. I find it hard to interpret Surrealist paintings in the same way I could never interpret Freud. Everybody else on my course got it, thrived in fact in that section of the module. But I always lagged behind. I took art at school and at college, but I could never figure out the deep meaning behind any of Freud’s interpretations, and I’ve never been able to dig deep enough to understand Surrealist art. But it can’t be denied: Max Ernst is a pretty damned interesting artist.

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L’ange du Foyeur. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
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Napoleon in the Wilderness. Image also courtesy of Wikipedia.

Sorry this post sucks, but just look at all the pretty pictures!

If you appreciate art, watch this space, because I have a plan to do a post or two in the not so distant future on some of my favourite paintings. There’ll most definitely be one on Carravaggio and I have a few up my sleeve from last week’s Victorian lecture that I’d like to share. For now, accept my apology and please know that I’ll try harder tomorrow.

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14 responses

  1. I wouldn’t say that this post sucks in any way shape or form. I found it really interested and the slightly disinterested, disjointed tone adds to the theme. You’ve supplied some really interesting avenues of thought to wander down and think about.

    February 28, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    • I’m glad you think so! Surrealism has always kind of baffled me, but at least the pictures are nice to look at. I’m fascinated with Saussure’s ideas and thought it fit well with that painting. Thanks for the great feedback!

      February 28, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      • You’re very welcome and I wasn’t one hundred percent on what to do for this prompt either but I think working it out and muddling it over sort of fulfills the prompt just as much as being able to throw something at people and go “This is surreal.”

        February 28, 2014 at 5:26 pm

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  3. Great music.

    February 28, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    • Isn’t it just? Gets in your head but it’s a great piece – I actually learned some of the words whilst making that video because I had to play it so much!

      February 28, 2014 at 5:18 pm

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