Dreams are where visionary adventures, brave discoveries, soulful connections, uncompromising purpose and profound experiences first originate. All of us have been told at one point in time, what was possible and what was not. Each of us has been boxed in to expectations stemming either from ourselves, society, religion or culture, and whether those delineations are invisible or very evident they suffocate our dreams. Gender expectations, cultural norms, religious demands, family traditions, all of these 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 who had succumbed to fear, conformity and capitalism. Through irrational and illogical art, the boundaries of the acceptable were questioned, tested, stretched and broken. A peaceful protest stemming from nonconformists seeking to write their own story and create a world where barriers disappeared, and where the impossible could become possible.
Surrealism was made popular by artists and writers such as Max Ernst, Tristan Tzara, Salvador Dali, André Breton, Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso. The principles behind their anti-establishment expressions however, were not popular in their day and these revolutionaries along with many more 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