What exactly is Surrealism? Breasts & Vagina on a Human Face
René Magritte, Le Viol (Rape), 1934, oil on canvas. Menil Range, Houston
The 1934 print version of André Breton’s Qu'est-ce que le Surréalisme? (What is Surrealism?) called Le Viol (Rape). Supposed to shock and repulse, Magritte’s design, which eventually became a painting, features a woman’s mind whose eyes were replaced by breasts and whoever mouth has become a vagina. WTF?!?! I’ll let the image linger across weekend with the expectation that readers leaves reviews about their particular gut a reaction to it. On Monday, I’ll update with a few art historical interpretations. Good Luck…
[under may be the address of Breton’s treatise…]
René Magritte, Le Viol (Rape) attracting on cover of Qu'est-ce que le Surréalisme?, 1934. Houghton Library, Harvard University
I’m grateful to all the those who commented on this entry. While many visitors discovered the image entertaining, one audience ended up being deeply bothered by one man’s view (Magritte) of a woman, one that strips her of her identification. Still another audience questioned perhaps the mind depicted need fundamentally be that a lady. These completely different reactions to the same picture proclaims the paradigm of art, that a work of art talks differently to everyone. You have to never forget that Magritte’s artwork was built in a specific some time place as well as a certain function. Therefore, the way the picture was seen after that may vary from how it viewed these days. WTF Art background isn't the venue to detail the Surrealists’ view/attitude toward women however it is the area to emphasize the oddities of the art globe. Admit it, Magritte’s Le Viol (Rape) is merely that, an oddity.
Below is an interpretation of this painting by Susan Gubar from her article “Representing Pornography: Feminism, critique, and Depictions of Female Violation” (1987, pg. 722).Endowed with blind hard nipples replacing eyes, a belly switch in which the woman nostrils ought to be, and a vulva for a mouth, the feminine face is erased because of the feminine body imposed upon it, like Magritte had been suggesting that anatomy will be her future. The face associated with the human anatomy is sightless, mindless, and foolish implies, also, that Magritte might be subscribing to the view of one of William Faulkner’s fictional surrogates, a man whom celebrates the feminine perfect as “a virgin with no legs to go out of me, no arms to put on me, no head to speak to me” and which for that reason goes on to define woman generically as “merely [an] articulated genital organ.” While an anatomical surprise converts the female into a bearded woman, the articulation regarding the girl as vaginal organ tends to make the girl inarticulate, closing straight down all the spaces that ordinarily allow world go into the self to ensure Magritte’s topic seems monstrously impenetrable or horrifyingly solipsistic. Paradoxically, even as it fetishizes female sexuality, Le Viol denies the presence of feminine genitalia, for the vulva-mouth listed here is just a hairy indentation. In this reading of this painting’s subject, the represented figure-robbed of subjectivity and put on show like a freak-deserves to be raped: this is basically the only consummation that'll penetrate her self-enclosure and, given the embarrassment of her fleshiness, it's all she actually is beneficial to. If the feminine is at the same time decapitated and recapitated by the woman intimate body organs, the facial skin that has been allowed to be a window to your soul symbolizes a sexuality which less related to satisfaction and more to dominance throughout the girl that is “nothing but” a body. Jean Arrouye associated with Musée Critique de la Sorbonne contends that Magritte’s painting signifies a Freudian displacement or an inverse displacement. Regarding the one-hand, the painting portrays a lady human anatomy in which one needs to see a face as well as on another, the portrait masks the genuine object of desire.
Magritte’s oeuvre is filled with wonky imagery and figures misshapen, reformed, and displaced. There'll often be more to express about any of it artwork but also for now, I set my discussion to sleep and hope that visitors should be activated to come quickly to their conclusion concerning the painting.