Dreams are where romantic adventures, brave discoveries, deep connections, uncompromising purpose, and exceptional experiences originate. All of us have been told what’s possible and what’s not. Each of us has been boxed into expectations stemming from ourselves, society, religion, or culture, and whether those delineations are invisible or rather evident, they suffocate our dreams. Gender expectations, cultural norms, religious demands, family traditions, dictate what is possible and what is not. Surrealism breaks the chains of enslavement to the acceptable and expected.
Surrealism was born out of the Dada movement, which breathed life and hope into the youth of 1916. Hope, arising from shared experiences at the Cabaret Voltaire, a nightclub in Zürich created to celebrate artistic and political discourse. Switzerland being neutral was an oasis of solace and freedom for those escaping the horrors of World War I. The Dada movement represented the fight against a society that had succumbed to fear, conformity, and capitalism. Through irrational and illogical art, the boundaries of the acceptable were questioned, tested, stretched and broken. Surrealism, a peaceful protest of the nonconformists, was birthed from those seeking to write their own stories free of barriers, in a world where the impossible became possible.
Surrealism was popularized by artists and writers such as Max Ernst, Tristan Tzara, Salvador Dali, André Breton, Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso, who changed the world of art through their anti-establishment expressions. Along with many others, these revolutionaries, faced obstacles set up by the conformists they loudly rebelled against. Art was their weapon, words their ammunition, and yet their impact has rippled across generations, telling each of us that restraints, expectations, norms, and shackles exist to be broken. Surrealism is where dreams come true.
artwork by @indig0