So Exotic, So Homemade: Surrealism, Englishness and Documentary Photography
Manchester University Press
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My book City Gorged with Dreams focussed on work made in Paris, but I was aware that there had also been a great deal of Surrealist photography made elsewhere. Consequently, I wrote about Czech Surrealist photography for Third Text and Papers of Surrealism, but my central concern was to develop a second book, which would for the first time examine at length the relationship between Surrealism and documentary photography in England. In 2005-6, I was awarded an AHRC Research Leave grant to complete the writing of the text. The book was published in November 2007 by Manchester University Press. Individual chapters examine the landscape photography of Paul Nash and Eileen Agar, Roland Penrose’s 'image-diary' of his trip across the Balkans with Lee Miller and the mix of poetry and ethnography in Mass-Observation. These studies are followed by an account of the merging of Surrealism and documentary during the London Blitz. A final chapter explores the work of post-war artists such as Nigel Henderson, Tony Ray-Jones, Ian Breakwell, Susan Hiller, Patrick Keiller and Martin Parr. Two sections of the text were delivered as conference papers: "The Comic Sublime: Eileen Agar at Ploumanac’h" at the International Symposium on Surrealism, West Dean, Sussex (May, 2005) and "Humphrey Jennings and Mass-Observation" at the Mass-Observation Symposium, Manchester University (November 2005). The paper on Agar was published as an extended essay in Tate Papers online journal in November 2006. I have subsequently been invited to contribute further essays to two books: one on Lee Miller edited by Annalisa Zox-Weaver for the University of California Press and one on Bill Brandt’s photographs for the Research Centre for the Archive at London College of Communication. The paper on Miller is being delivered at a symposium at the Victoria and Albert Museum in December, 2007.
Showing items related by title, author, subject and abstract.
Unknown author (Manchester University Press, 2008-10-17)When the relationship between Surrealism and photography first became a subject of academic attention in the 1980s, the common view was that the core of Surrealist photography lay in staged and manipulated work. What was ...
(History of Photography, 2006-08-01)Shortly after the publication of my book City Gorged with Dreams, David Bate of the University of Westminster published a book on Surrealist photography, which took a very different approach. Our work was complementary ...
Unknown author (Chris Boot / National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, 2008-10-17)The exhibition A Gentle Madness was the first major retrospective of Tony Ray-Jones’ work, and looked to re-appraise his contribution to photography in Britain. Ray-Jones is recognized as important for several reasons, ...