The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 2 No. 2 (2008) - Table of Contents
“Surrealism and Photography: Introduction” by Wendy Grossman, p. i-iv.
“‘Surrealistic and disturbing’: Timothy O’Sullivan as Seen by Ansel Adams in the 1930s” by Britt Salvesen, p. 162-179.
“‘As if one’s eyelids had been cut away’: Frederick Sommer’s Arizona Landscapes” by Ian Walker, p. 180-208.
“Clarence John Laughlin, Regionalist Surrealist” by Lewis Kachur, p. 209-226.
“A Swimmer Between Two Worlds: Francesca Woodman’s Maps of Interior Space” by Katharine Conley, p. 227-252.
“Remembering Anne D’Harnoncourt” by Valery Oisteanu, p. 253.
“The 1930s: The Making of the ‘New Man’” by Julia Pine, p. 254-258.
“Beyond Bridges: The Cinema of Jean Rouch” by Robert McNab, p. 259-262.
“Review of Kirby Olson, ‘Andrei Codrescu and the Myth of America’” by Éva Forgács, p. 263-267.
“Review of Sally Price, 'Paris Primitive: Jacques Chirac’s Museum on the Quai Branly’” by Kate Duncan, p. 268-272.
Included in this item (11)
Ian Walker, At Rich Hill, Arizona, With Frederick Sommer’s Camera, Showing the Terrain Depicted in ‘Arizona Landscape, 1943.'
In keeping with the first two issues of the Journal of Surrealism and the Americas, this third issue aims to broaden the horizon of critical concerns to which the publication is dedicated, turning our attention here to photographic contributions to the discourse of Surrealism and the Americas. Photography, of course, played a central role in surrealist practices since the movement’s inception, as the plethora of scholarship on the topic has underscored. It is thus not surprising that as the movement gained adherents across the Atlantic, the medium would find its calling in this new context as well.
In 1937, Ansel Adams described the photographs taken some sixty years earlier by Timothy O’Sullivan in the American West as “surrealistic and disturbing.” He was writing to Beaumont Newhall, who was then curating a landmark exhibition celebrating the centenary of photography’s invention.
This paper examines the 1930s as a formative moment in the Modernist history of photography. At this time, Adams and Newhall—influenced also by Alfred Steiglitz and Edward Weston—developed a history for their young medium that emphasized certain practices and approaches. The Western Survey photographs of the 1870s became cornerstones in this history, for they seemed to exemplify a photographic sensibility unencumbered by artistic aspiration.
A tension develops here between the attempt to define and restrict the medium, and the need to explain the strange qualities of these early photographs, leading to the invocation of surrealism. By examining surrealism’s deployment in this context, the paper provides a different angle from which to view the West as subject and surrealism as style in the history of photography.
- Grossman, Wendy A. (Author)
- Salvesen, Britt (Author)
- Walker, Ian (Author)
- Kachur, Lewis (Author)
- Conley, Katharine (Author)
- Oisteanu, Valery (Author)
- Pine, Julia (Author)
- McNab, Robert Donald (Author)
- Forgács, Éva (Author)
- Duncan, Kate (Author)