Histories

Charting the ways that the study of surrealism and photography has developed since its beginnings in the 1970s raises many interesting questions.

The first button here links to the International Encyclopaedia of Surrealism, published in 2019, to which I have contributed an entry on Surrealism and Photography, plus an number of studies of individual photographers and film-makers.

After that is my professorial lecture ‘The Short History of Surrealist Photography’, delivered at the University of South Wales, Newport, in 1913. In those circumstances, it seemed appropriate to also include an account of my own engagement with that history.

In 2014, Martha Langford invited me to delivered a lecture on the same subject at Concordia University, Montreal. This included examinations of the changing reputations of individual photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, Eli Lotar and Claude Cahun, which I hope to develop in the near future.

Some of these ideas also appear in the essay I wrote for the catalogue Forbidden Games, published by the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2014. There, I related such general thoughts to specific images from the Raymond Collection of surrealist photography, now held in the museum collection.

The largest exhibition of surrealist photography was La Subversion des images, mounted by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in 2009. My review of the exhibition and its accompanying publication was published in Source, no. 63 (Summer 2010).

The final link here is to the Oxford Companion to the Photograph of 2005, for which I wrote an earlier text on surrealist photography.

Ian_Walker_Surrealism books