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The Women Photographers Redefining Surrealism for the 21st Century – Artsy

These photographers are exploring dreamlike worlds, wider social issues, and the subconscious to determine what surrealism in contemporary photography looks like.

Aida Muluneh Idle Whims, 2018 David Krut Projects
Aida Muluneh Idle Whims, 2018 David Krut Projects

Jacqui Palumbo

In Surrealist circles in early 20th-century Paris, artists explored the sensuality and desire of the subconscious mind. With prominent male artists at the forefront of the movement, the female form came under their gaze. Women’s bodies “became the ultimate surrealist object, it was mystified, fetishized, and othered,” Izabella Scott wrote for Artsy in 2017. The photographers of the Surrealist movement were no exception.

Untitled from Roxane II, 024
Viviane Sassen Untitled from Roxane II, 024, 2017 Stevenson
Man Ray famously turned Kiki de Montparnasse’s torso into a violin, while André Kertész distorted models to monstrous effect. Women photographers of the era—such as Dora Maar And Lee Miller —have often been reduced to mere muses, their own important practices ignored or overshadowed until being revisited in recent years.
Le Violon d'Ingres
Man Ray Le Violon d’Ingres, 1924 Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Distortion #82
André Kertész Distortion #82, 1933 GALLERY FIFTY ONE

Today, there is no official movement for Surrealism in photography, but many artists have picked up the torch, exploring what Sigmund Freud called “the uncanny” to render the comfort of the known world a little less recognizable. Many women, in particular, are determining what contemporary Surrealism in photography looks like, exploring dreamlike worlds, strange juxtapositions, and futuristic concepts to comment on selfhood, wider social issues, the subconscious, and the illusory nature of the medium itself. Here are seven female photographers redefining contemporary Surrealism.

Cig Harvey

 Scout & The Stars, Rockport, Maine
Cig Harvey Scout & The Stars, Rockport, Maine, 2013 Kopeikin Gallery
White Witch Moth, Devin, Rockport, Maine
Cig Harvey White Witch Moth, Devin, Rockport, Maine, 2012 Huxley-Parlour

In British photographer Cig Harvey’s work, domestic scenes become a potent setting for magic. Her daughter Scout curls underneath a scatter of glittering stars on a dark wall, or opens her mouth wide to reveal a red string wrapped around a tooth. In self-portraits, Harvey is often obscured or turned away, appearing as a mysterious narrator of her life. She reflects on childhood, memory, and time with a sense of eccentricity and poignancy that gently pushes her work into the realm of magical realism. There is a delicacy to the work, in dappled light on skin or the dainty tail feathers of birds. That fragility is the heart of her third monograph, You An Orchestra You a Bomb (2017). Harvey made the work after a car crash left her unable to speak for weeks; the body of work reexamined the things dearest to her after nearly losing them.

Read on >>>> Source: Artsy The Women Photographers Redefining Surrealism for the 21st Century – Artsy