Lecture 7: Controversies

The Dada Movement

Anti-war, anti-bourgeois, anti-culture A reaction to the First World War, began in 1916 Visual arts, literature-poetry, art theory, graphic design Object was to react against the meaninglessness of the modern world Inspired Surrealism, pop art and punk rock.

Man Ray (1890 – 1976)

American by birth Man Ray spent most of his career in Paris Friend of Marcel Duchamp – both discovered photography as a creative medium – he introduced Man Ray to the Dada group in 1921 (founded five years earlier) Man Ray discovered the ‘rayograph’ (photogram) Argued that they were the first photographic prints to attain artistic value Man Ray made the shift from Dada to Surrealism and understood the creative power of photography.

The Phantom of Liberty

Luis Buñuel 1974

One of Buñuel’s most free-form and purely Surrealist films, consisting of a series on only vaguely related episodes Addresses sexual taboos Satirises a group of monks gambling with holy relics, smoking and drinking alcohol What is present for the audience to see is not acknowledged by the characters (a missing girl) The scene we about to see challenges social mores


Surrealism was a movement which began in the 1920s of writers and artists (including Salvador Dalí and René Magritte), who experimented with ways of unleashing the subconscious imagination