Dada And Surrealism

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World War 1 (1914-1918) was a torrential era in world history, exploiting entire societies; its people and industrial resources. According to Hunt (2012), soldiers found themselves socializing at times with the enemy and avoiding unnecessary battles, minimizing the already insurmountable casualties while maximizing the number of deadlocks. Moreover, the warfare landscape blurred and destabilized cultural classes, censored front line atrocities, and became a preamble to post-war moral questioning.

As a result, Dada, and later Surrealism, took front seats to the art forms that dated pre-World War 1. The need to decompress the feelings of illogicality, the aesthetics, or lack thereof, of Dada and Surrealism mirrored the new culture of disjointed
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The belief that progress, mainly the Industrial Revolution, was the cause of the war and the resulting devastating loss of life led to a reflection of a pre-war existence scarred and defamed by feelings of angst and uncertainty. This reactionary period is known as Dada.

Although without definition of what Dada was, artists clearly defined what Dada was not. Dada was not rational, yet this author believes that Dada shows a sense of rationality. Surrounding the irrational thought of the war’s insurmountable deaths, artists took to verse and canvas in order to create a lucid thought of anarchy.

Prior to World War 1, visual artists Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dali were part of the Futuristic movement, but post-war dystopia fueled the direction of their craft to an iconoclastic realm of metaphor and realm of
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In a trance-like style, Dali seeks to evoke the spectator’s mind to take alternative reality and adopt is as consensual reality. The passing of time, or the absence of time, within a barren, almost dead landscape connects both Nietzsche and Freud and the artist’s desire to explore the latent content of dreams and their symbolic interpretations, allowing for expression of dreams and the

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