arachnekallisti: (act her age)
...although I thought [the surrealists] were wonderful, I had to give them up in the end. They were, with a few patronized exceptions, all men and they told me that I was the source of all mystery, beauty, and otherness, because I was a woman – and I knew that was not true. I knew I wanted my fair share of the imagination, too. Not an excessive amount, mind; I wasn't greedy. Just an equal share in the right to vision.
- Angela Carter, The Alchemy of the Word

The F Word posted a fantastic review of the Angels of Anarchy exhibition in Manchester, a display of the neglected work of all the women Surrealists you never get to hear about in the mainstream history of the movement. I'm shocked to discover how much damn fine Surrealist work I never got to see before, and how many talented artists I'd never even heard of. Thanks ever so much, sexist art historians.

The exhibition's over now, but the website still has some images and resources on there, including the results of what happens when you play Exquisite Corpse on Twitter.

Incidentally, whilst we're on the subject of awesome surreal women: I recently discovered a load of Iris Wildthyme stories are available online. Iris Wildthyme, for your information, is a renegade Time Lady who travels through time and space in a number 22 Routemaster bus that is slightly smaller on the inside than the outside. She may be one of the Doctor's exes. She may be an alternate-universe version of him. She has frequently accused him of stealing all her best stories. If you want some cracky, metafictional New Wave style Who fic, she's your woman every time.
arachnekallisti: (act her age)
"...beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella..."
- Comte de Lautréamont

I've always had a bit of a thing for Surrealism. A few years ago, [livejournal.com profile] ignisophis and I ran a LARP set on the borders of Dream, which took place in paintings which preserved the dreamscapes of a powerful dream sorceror, and all the characters were named after surrealist artists. I've been reading up on the Surrealists again recently, after being bitten by the desire to write a proper myth-arc for Dark Heresy - but more on that in another post, I don't want to spoiler my players before they get to the surreal goodness.

1. A series of Magritte-inspired poems by Mark Young. Not always successful, but generally interesting.
2. The story of Gef the Talking Mongoose. A particularly bizarre bit of Forteana.
3. A psychological study appears to suggest that surreal experiences improve your pattern recognition capabilities. Clearly you should all play in more of my games.
4. The Codex Seraphinianus is a bizarre surrealist encyclopaedia of an unreal world, written in an invented language that may in fact be utterly meaningless. It's remarkably difficult to get hold of a copy, as the previous printings have been limited in scope and it's extremely rare and valuable. As [livejournal.com profile] the_whybird mentioned, it almost has the vibe of an Unknown Armies artifact designed to trap bibliomancers - books are generally valued for the information they contain, but this book is incredibly valuable precisely because it contains no information whatsoever.

"Surrealist beauty is convulsive. That is, you feel it, you don't see it - it exists as an excitation of the nerves. The experience of the beautiful is, like the experience of desire, an abandonment to vertigo, yet the beautiful does not exist as such. What do exist are images or objects that are enigmatic, marvelously erotic – or juxtapositions of objects, or people, or ideas, that arbitrarily extend our notion of the connections it is possible to make. In a way, the beautiful is put at the service of liberty."
- Angela Carter, The Alchemy of the Word

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October 2012

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