Surrealist ideology arose out of the anarchistic and absurd Dada movement, but it had clearer political aims and a more theoretical approach. After a period of unimaginable human evil and suffering, the soul gained a renewed interest in science and art. Sigmund Freud’s theories on dream interpretation, psychoanalysis and erotic release discussed how the mind had several deep layers beneath the rational and cultural ones. Here in the depths of the mind, there are impulses and emotions that cannot be objectively understood: sexual urges, dreams, nightmares, psychoses and hysteria. The surrealists believed that rational and logical ideas and the suffocating values of bourgeois, patriarchal society, such as religion, family values and morals, had been responsible for the war and the ensuing catastrophe, and that throwing off these ‘outdated’ values would allow for the creation of a new, freer society. The purpose was to reach into the inner life of one’s own soul, to ‘the very depths of the soul’.
Because women explored themselves while male surrealists explored women, female surrealist art is different. The fact that women were open and unstoppably concerned with their own histories and faces makes them more original compared to the art of the male surrealists.
-Author and researcher Sissel Lie