Mar 28, 2008
There was a 'surrealist group art show' at the Waypost cafe in Portland Oregon for the month of March, with an opening reception on March 14th. I went on a Thursday and looked at each work. There were only a small number of images on display due to the cafe's layout, and I did not make notes due to tiredness, but there were things I liked and some things I was indifferent to. Chuck Bloom's tree houses were the most personally memorable, because I built and played in tree houses as a child. As far as the surrealist aspect of the show, without more biographical information it's hard to tell where those involved are really coming from, other than a vague idea of making surrealist art. I don't mean to insult their efforts or creative pursuits, but a show with no personal statements or available literature tends to imply that surrealism is just a way of making art.
For me, a surrealist manifestation should have a romantic and libertarian ethic within an evolving collaborative basis and methodology in order to be true to the historical current. This does not imply dogmatism, but rather an evolving play-in-progress or an 'open system.' It's helpful if those who call themselves surrealists clearly present their ideas and associations in full depth. If they are just making art, without the radical critique of capitalism and 'consciousness,' that is inherent to the Surrealist Movement, I am less interested. I get the impression that this is not a 'Surrealist Group' show, but rather a gathering of individuals whose imagery or thinking have something considered surrealist or 'surreal' about them. Further information forthcoming.