The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this section of his four-part essay, Juan Larrea discusses the creation, development, transcendence, and objectives of Surrealism, referring to a particular case to express the significance of the movement. He mentions Víctor Brauner, the Rumanian painter who, in 1938, “was the ‘chance’ victim in an incident in which the Surrealist painter Óscar Domínguez threw a glass at him that gouged out his left eye ball.” Strangely enough, seven years earlier Brauner had painted a self-portrait in which he portrayed himself without a right eye. Larrea interprets the incident as a way to grasp the essential focus of Surrealism: to have “one eye open to objective reality and the other one missing, in a symbolic affirmation of introspective vision.” It is no coincidence that, two years before Brauner painted his self-portrait, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí premièred their Surrealist film, Un chien andalou [The Andalusian Dog, 1929], in which an eye drains from its socket.
At the end of the second part of his essay, the Basque painter Juan Larrea (1895-1980) attempts to discern the future of Surrealism during the turbulent years at the beginning of the Second World War. Part of the group remains in Europe (specifically in Paris and Marseille), while another, highly relevant segment sets sail for the new world (the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico.) In the third part of his essay, Larrea claims that the continuity of the surrealist movement in America “coincides perfectly with Mabille’s prophecy that attributed to Spain the ‘myth’ that leads to a new awareness, and named Mexico and New Spain as the land of vision.” See the first part of this essay in doc. no. 772513, and the fourth part in doc. no. 772528.