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Surrealists collective

Louis Aragon, André Breton, Paul Eluard, Jacques Prévert, Raymond Queneau and Yves Tanguy.

The Surrealists considered that collective action is a real strategy for conquest as well as a formidable poetic weapon, often compared to automatic writing. Just as for automatism, the collective is the instrument of this “impersonal poetry” so well described by Paul Eluard and claimed by the entire Surrealist movement. This statement of the collective first implies an intensive group life. And it is via photography that the Surrealist community finds a means to represent itself. This approach follows a long tradition, but the Surrealists apply it to the photobooth. Their cheerful meetings in the Photomaton illustrate the movement’s both collective and dynamic dimension. (Credit: Yves Tanguy © 2011, Autoportrait dans un photomaton, ProLitteris, Zürich / Collection Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne)