Ghosts of the Black Chamber: Experimental, Dada and Surrealist Photography 1918-1948
1 Jan 2010
Photography is most often thought of as a way to document reality - to capture true-life experiences as they occur. But for the artists of the Dadaist and Surrealist movements, who placed the very question of reality and its perception at the center of their works, the camera's lens functioned as a creative extension of the imagination - a third eye attuned to unconscious meaning - and the photograph was an index of signs that could be modified, simultaneously recording the everyday and exposing new meanings beneath its surface. "Ghosts of the Black Chamber" presents numerous examples of this fantastic vision in an illustrated directory of experimental photography from 1918 to 1948. "Ghosts of the Black Chamber" presents over two hundred photographic images by revolutionary and iconic artists of the time. In addition to the photographs, which exemplify not only Dadaism and Surrealism, but also lesser-known movements such as Futurism and Vorticism, the book also includes profiles of the fifty well-known artists featured, including Dali, Bellmer, Breton, Ernst, Magritte, and Man Ray. This comprehensive and stunning collection is both a wonderful introduction to midcentury experimental art and a must-have for fans of the Surrealists and Dadaists.