Rearranging Surreality: Dada and Surrealism in Budapest

??????????????????????

(Hungarian National Gallery, 9 July – 5 October 2014)

Only a tiny number of books by André Breton have been translated into Hungarian so far (Nadja, Poisson soluble, Les champs magnétiques), and they had no real impact on Hungarian culture. Ironically, this fact can be proved also by the generous catalogue of the most important Surrealist overview to date in this country: Dada and Surrealism / Rearranged Reality. In the Hungarian text of the catalogue, Les champs magnétiques is translated as Mágneses terek several times, while the existing translation of the volume was published as A mágneses mezők. Breton is not a recurrent point of reference in Hungarian culture, although painters like Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst or René Magritte – major presences also in this catalogue — are of course well-known by the Hungarian public.

While the reception of Surrealism in Hungary still lacks precision and information, the representative exhibition of the National Gallery, organized in partnership with The Israel Museum of Jerusalem is a very important step in this direction, precisely because of its “introductory” character, that is to be felt in the selection of the exhibited works (in several cases no more than 2-3, but quite representative works by artists like, most importantly, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, also Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Hans Arp, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Victor Brauner, Wilfredo Lam, and with the participation of Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Delvaux, Leonora Carrington, Dorothea Tanning, Marcel Jean and others), but also in the keywords that are used for the arrangement of the exhibition.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Surrealist Senses: Marcel Jean’s Representations of Budapest

au galop

Abstract

The paper analyzes the spatial representations and the self-representations of the surrealist author Marcel Jean in his late autobiography entitled Au galop dans le vent (1991), where he reflects upon his life and upon the seven years that he spent in Budapest with his wife between 1939 and 1945, and also in his book Mnésiques, published in 1942 in Budapest. In this latter book the presence of the surrealist mythology of transformation can be interpreted as a representation of the dislocated self, Au galop dans le vent showing the historical and biographical contexts of these experiences.

Keywords: Marcel Jean, Árpád Mezei, Au galop dans le vent, European School, Mnésiques, surrealism, war

Imre József BALÁZS
Surrealist Senses: Marcel Jean’s Representations of Budapest
Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica, 5, 1 (2013) 17−31

Continue reading

Marcel Jean and the Culture of Booklets

Small books published in a feeble amount of copies were always an essential part of avant-garde culture. The intense group activity of surrealists even emphasized this aspect: that through knowing and owning such a publication one really became part of the group. Continue reading