Rozsda’s One Hundred Surrealisms

rozsda100

(Rozsda100: A Párka fonala / Le Fil de la Parque / The Parca’s Thread. Várfok Galéria, Budapest, 2013.)

100 years have passed since Endre Rozsda’s birth, and his work seems to emerge now in Hungary as one of the major Hungarian oeuvres connected to surrealism. Almost fifteen years were needed though to achieve this goal: after a 1998 retrospective of his painted work in Műcsarnok, Budapest (followed also by a representative exhibition of his graphic works in 2001 – Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest), the most important efforts in promoting Rozsda’s work were carried out by the private gallery Várfok Galéria and its owner, Károly Szalóky. Several exhibitions dedicated to Rozsda’s works have been organized in Budapest during these fifteen years, and some of the major catalogues and articles on his works have been written by the art historians connected to the Gallery. A decisive role in this process was played also by Júlia Cserba, who was very active during the past decades in promoting the works of Paris-based Hungarians, and who was one of the curators of the Műcsarnok retrospective. Art historians like Sándor Hornyik or Gábor Pataki, the most important authors dedicated to the interpretation of Hungarian surrealist painting and to the group of the European School in general, also contributed with their expertise to a better understanding of Rozsda’s work.

Continue reading

A book that makes you move

I knew that such a book has to exist well before I actually got to know its title or the name of the authors who contributed to it. At first, I tried to construct it piece by piece from other books like the one written by Marie-Claire Bancquart, Paris des surréalistes, and from photographies seen in Centre Pompidou and in books by Brassai. Then I found out that the book I was looking for, Guide du Paris surréaliste had just appeared in March 2012, written by a team under the supervision of Henri Béhar.

The structure of the book offers all the necessary details for recreating the itineraries of several well-known surrealist “walks” and offers also a guide for our eyes. The itineraries themselves would not be able to offer us surrealist “landscapes”, we also need to train our way of perception to capture the surrealist Paris. Maps, photos, lists and addresses, descriptions and quotations from surrealist texts help us to achieve this.

Continue reading

Mal d’ombre

The “sinister name” Malombra has a long story in European culture. In 1881, Antonio Fogazzaro published the novel Malombra. As a recent article points out, the novel is “a perhaps unique example of an Italian novel of the period whose inspiration comes primarily from the English Victorian novel and the late gothic”.[1] References in other texts by Fogazzaro include authors like Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allan Poe and books like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Malombra was a success and was soon translated into English and published also in the UK (1896) and the US (1907). In 1942, Mario Soldati’s movie Malombra was released (after a first adaptation in 1917, made by Carmine Gallone). In 1947, the Romanian Surrealist Group (Gherasim Luca, Gellu Naum, Paul Păun, Virgil Teodorescu, Trost) published the collective text written in French, Eloge de Malombra – Cerne de l’amour absolu (Malombra, aura of absolute love), inspired by the film – as they called it: “the involuntarily surrealist film Malombra”. The story could go on with two more Italian films called Malombra (1974, 1984), but let’s stop here and consider instead the reasons of the surrealists’ fascination with the movie.

Continue reading

The Inner Side of the Object: About Painting and Surrealism

Insiders see what others don’t. They are aware of the shades and details that might seem insignificant for others. But what are the differences when two insiders, namely André Breton and Sarane Alexandrian try to tell the same story: the story of surrealist art?

Continue reading

Julien Gracq és a másik part

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antoine Compagnon a nagy antimodernek egyikének nevezi Julien Gracqot Les Antimodernes című könyvében.
Gracq első értekező prózai művét 1948-ban André Bretonról írta, legismertebb regényét, A Szirtiszek partvidékét (Le Rivage des Syrtes) Gellu Naum fordította román nyelvre: ezek olyan jelek, amelyek mindenképp relevánssá teszik a Gracq-művek szürrealista kontextusban történő vizsgálatát.

Continue reading

A humor feketébbik oldala

Jó olyan antológiákat olvasni, amelyben egy erős, markáns állítással lehet találkozni. Elvileg bármire vonatkozhat ez a javaslat vagy tézis. Bretonnál arra vonatkozik, hogy kicsoda az ember.

Continue reading

A vámpírok passzivitásáról

A vámpír Gherasim Luca könyvében passzív és aktív egyszerre. A könyv fordítója, Krzysztof Fijalkowski szerint e könyv vámpírfigurája leginkább a Lautréamont-féle Maldoror gótikus képzetköreivel rokonítható, nem annyira a régió népi hagyományaiból lép elő. Lucánál tehát egy „kultúrvámpír” az, akit láthatunk, de a megjelenítés ezen belül igencsak radikális, a szerzőre egyébként is jellemző módon.

A vámpír világa az árnyékokéval, a szellemvilágéval érintkezik, így kerül bevezetésre a könyvben, szoros összefüggésben egyébként azzal az erősen sugallt tézissel, hogy maguknak a tárgyaknak is van egy olyan világa, amit nem lehet tőlük elválasztani, és amely főként vágyakból és egyéb irracionális erőkből szövődik köréjük. Continue reading