Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Les Espaces des Animaux: Animals in the Spaces of Surrealism


Art & Design Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Arts and Humanities


Anyone who begins to look for (non-human) animals in Surrealist works will soon begin to see them everywhere: MirÃs birds, Dalís giraffes, Carringtons horses, Magrittes lions, BuÃuels insects, and many others inhabit the spaces of Surrealism. One finds, however, that these animals are often specifically situated in spaces designed for human occupation. In one sense, this is typical of Surrealist strategies of radical decontextualization. This paper, however, will explore the possibility that such works also begin to function as a critique of human privilege, calling attention to the boundaries and limitations of our human habitat They pose the question of what happens when the containment of animals, in zoos, farms, and designated preserves fails. I will suggest that these works furthermore illustrate John Bergers contention that, The cultural marginalisation of animals is&a more complex process than their physical marginalisation. The animals of the mind cannot be so easily dispersed.Examples to be discussed will include films by BuÃuel and DalÃ, as well as images by Max Ernst and René Magritte.

Conference Name

Global Positioning Systems (ACLA 2013)

Conference Location

Toronto, Canada

Global Positioning Systems (ACLA 2013)

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