JOHN RICHARDSON | SURREALIST
THE SURREALIST ADVENTURE
I first encountered surrealism as a teenager, at a time when I had taken my place behind the banner of Marxism as a convinced anti-capitalist, internationalist, anti-Stalinist, atheist and communist. In short, my political beliefs and activity served the cause of freedom and human emancipation.
Opposing so-called common sense, capitalist ideology, religious delusions and the miserablism of everyday life, with total revolt and an unfettered imagination suffused with the love of the irrational and the irrationality of love, Surrealism is above all an adventure of the mind which ensures ‘we (will) not let the paths of desire become overgrown’ (André Breton, Mad Love). In short, Surrealism seeks to transform our view of ‘what is’ and ‘what can be’.
My response, therefore, to the question, ‘What is your work about? What does it mean?’, is that whether through image or text, I seek only to attempt to provide further disruptions of reality and provoke new, imaginative, responses to the dull world of the reality-principle, referred to by Breton in the First Surrealist Manifesto, as “the unacceptable human condition” of contemporary capitalism – the Society of the Spectacle, of Miserabilism - which unhappily confronts us each and every day.
However, despite the victories enjoyed by the forces of reaction, over the last 40 years my adherence has deepened to the idea that, ‘Surrealism and the thought of André Breton are perhaps that ideal point, that supreme mental location where the libertarian trajectory meets revolutionary Marxism’ (Michael Löwy).
May the adventure continue,
ALL POWER TO THE IMAGINATION!