Dali paper - Surrealism developed out of the chaos that was Dada and looked to embrace fantastical imagery with a psychoanalytic influence Salvador

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fantastical imagery with a psychoanalytic influence. Salvador Dali and his fellow surrealist artists sought to express such subconscious elements through the use of automatism and for Dali: the paranoiac critical method. Many surrealist works contain abstracted imagery related to the subconscious but also often depict symbols that connect to psychological concepts. Dali is perhaps the best known and strangest of the Surrealist movement. His work is characterized by odd and often jarring depictions and symbols. He found extreme influence in his dreams and was particularly interested in Freud’s studies of the subconscious. Although many of Dali’s images were based in subconscious imagery or dreams, he applied them and sometimes altered them in his art to create a symbolic and psychoanalytical approach to art. Perhaps one of Dali’s most famous and revered works is the “Persistence of Memory” from 1931. The work depicts a stylized face with other melting objects like clocks to its left. It is known that Dali received the image of a melting face after staring at cheese that had melted in the sunlight. Through the use of free association, a concept in which a person associates entirely separate objects in a spontaneous fashion, Dali was able to protract the image of a melting face and clocks from that of cheese. In this work it is possible to see the origins of Dali’s paranoic critical method; a methodology in which Dali would utilize both the freedom of automatism and the rationality of interpretation. According to Dali: My whole ambition in the pictorial domain is to materialize the images of my concrete irrationality with the most imperialist fury of precision…Paranoic-critical activity organizes and objectifies in an exclusivist manner the limitless and unknown possibilities of the systematic association of subjective and objective ‘significance’ in the irrational (PsychiatryOnline 855). True to the ideals set forth by Breton and the other Surrealists, Dali aimed to capture the
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2008 for the course ARTH 201 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '08 term at Ithaca College.

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Dali paper - Surrealism developed out of the chaos that was Dada and looked to embrace fantastical imagery with a psychoanalytic influence Salvador

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