PECHA KUCHA NOTES
- My name, I’m interested bc modern couples, Art intimacy and Avant Garde
- Didn’t realise there was such a big amount of objectification and sex within the movement and I can see how it has influenced later work
- 1900s – very ‘prim and proper’ don’t talk about sex! Long dresses not a lot of freedom for women – patriarchal society
- 1920s, everything changed! Rise of the ‘independent woman’ with men being away at war – birth control= ‘free sex’ (surrealists ‘swapped’ partners a lot) – redefining what it meant to be a woman – 1918, won the vote
- Surrealism = bringing your thoughts and untapped desires to the front of your mind, bringing forward anything in your imagination and going against what the traditional within art
- Dali = lots of genitals and paintings based on physical desires
- Breton wrote manifesto in 1924, but freud was around before – Freud’s methods of dream analysis was stolen, free writing was also his way of diagnosing and helping his patients
- Although Freud does a lot around sex, in this case its his interpretations of dreams that I focus on, but he didn’t like surrealist movement, didn’t understand it
- So now we’ve covered that, I’m going to go straight into the depiction of the female form within both art and society. The most prominent surrealists are men and although women were also working an the same time, they had a subordinate role.
- Specifically within this image, a woman is literally turned into a ‘plaything’, a violin, an object, and although somewhat beautiful, her character is stripped away to just a body.
- They were ‘objects of desire’ and used as muses for the male artists, used for inspiring poetry and art work – they were mystical, a fantasy and sometimes even dismembered and fetishized like in this work that really makes me feel so uncomfortable
- The movement was really about the erotic and it feels to me absolutely misogynistic at its core, bc women were allowed, but if theirs ‘voices’ were stronger than the mans – kept at an arms length
- Meret Oppenheim – serving myself trussed up on a plate like turkey’ women were using work to show how they felt within the movement and using it to show society how it viewed women – I feel that with the men it was more ‘inside out’ expression and with the women more ‘outside in’
- Dora Maar – still shooting the female, but it becomes slightly different – female gaze – nightmarish shadow behind
- Claude Cahun – gender identity and a new way of looking at the female form – self portraits
- Both artists – lesbian relationship (not very popular) but still follows idea of women expressing how they feel
- Some say that the surrealists just wanted to show the female body as a way to honour its form, and it wasn’t objectification, but I ask within the society of the time and the redefining nature of the society, was this great leap from the ‘submissive’ women of the 1900s to this a leap that represents the female form in the most honest way?
- Censorship – it just starts to ask the question at what level are we comfortable viewing this work? In Berlin these images were removed from Instagram 5 minutes after I posted them – are we subverting the truth of how the female form is represented? If we start dumbing down depcitions of the female form at what point do we draw the line?
- So I didn’t think I was interested in this movement and I’m still not sure I am, but the politics of the time and representation of women I am interested in. I think the surrealists took their depictions to a point where I feel genuinely uncomfortable looking at it,
- The kind of love and relationships that were reported around this time are full of ‘passion’ and a violent kind of love and lust for the other, the poetry and ways of speaking to one another
These were my original notes for the Pecha Kucha. They were shortened and put on cue cards to go with the briefs ask of using cue cards with 3-5 bullet points on them so you could work with the imagery being shown.
After practising with everything I intended to say from the notes, I found my timings went waaay off, and I was talking too much, with too much information, so with the cue cards I really narrowed it down to the key points, which was challenging after I knew I had quite a bit of research to back up all my points.