Documentary Surrealism

Project

Duration: 2022 – 2025

Research Areas
Cinema Studies

Description

This project investigates the intersection of surrealism and documentary across media and art forms. It argues that documentary strategies are at the core of surrealism’s activities, and that surrealists have explored the unconscious and their physical surroundings in equal measure. From André Breton, Max Ernst, and Leonora Carrington, to Emila Medková, Roger Caillois, and Claude Cahun, surrealists observe both urban life and nature, as well as inner and outer reality, with equal fervour. This study considers material from several international contexts, including both historic and recent practice. Tracing a documentary legacy in surrealism, the project not only contributes to the burgeoning field of surrealism studies, but also to the history and theory of the documentary in art history, film studies, and literary studies. The project examines a wide range of artworks, films, and writings, as well as surrealist journals, exhibitions, and archives. Documentary Surrealism elaborates four concepts of relevance for documentary theory overall: spectral indexicality, machinic interiority, nature’s unconscious, and speculative objectivity. These four concepts also indicate the continued relevance of surrealist practice and theory for current questions concerning nature, subjectivity, and the truth claims of lens-based images. The project will result in two peer-reviewed articles and a co-written monograph, as well as in yearly international conference presentations.

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About the Member

Kristoffer Noheden

Kristoffer Noheden is a research fellow in cinema studies in the Department of Media Studies. He holds a PhD in cinema studies from Stockholm University, and an MA in film studies and a BA in cultural studies from the University of Gothenburg. He ... Read more

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