The 3 Surrealists
The title of the video art project- “The 3 Surrealists” can be understood rather as a kind of provocation 100 years after André Breton, released his Manifesto of Surrealism in 1924.
As an art historical period of 20th century, the classical Surrealism had quite a short high time as a literary and artistic movement/ideology but its innovative language of form and representation at that time had lasting influence on the next following artists’ generations until today.
In this way, Surrealism did not only survive but became a kind of genetic code of/in contemporary art using the alienation of the existing/reality as a basic artistic principle/pictorial and compositional element.
Moving images/film became already in the early phases a medium for juxtaposing different types of realities, confronting the subjective, psychological condition of an individual with a more multifaceted reality of society.
Particularly the technological development of the digitalization since 2000 is allowing artists of all disciplines to create new realities of imagination generating not only visual, but general sensual sensations, including, like 100 years ago in Surrealism, that the effect as such is already misunderstood as an artistic expression.
While film/cinema had been a medium to be used from the beginning by some privileged people, it was this digitalization causing a democratization through the affordability/availability of the medium for all – video as a mass phenomenon and a favorite medium of artists.
The currently used artistic languages are the expression of this democratization, as well, the artists can draw from a wealth of possibilities.
Our three Spanish video artists Albert Merino, Laura / Sira Cabrera and Ausín Saínz are acting in this situational, historical, cultural and social context.
Although each of them is characterized by an artistic individuality generating a completely different creative output than the colleagues, all three have much in common – they follow an individual artistic concept based on criticism – on society – feminism – human rights – environment – climate change etc. They use – the technology in a exceptionally creative way, the different principles of alienation generating an individual cosmos of imagination/reality, and – by doing so they create what the Surrealists describe as dreamlike sequences hidden in the subconscious, they use different ways how communicate with the viewer.
In a certain way, all three are portraying themselves as a part of what is happening. While Ausín Saínz and the twins Laura/Sira Cabrera can be realized as acting persons/representatives of society, culture, environment – victims and perpetrators alike, Albert Merino’s metaphorical language does the same but more subtle, less obvious, his Compulsive Self-portrait is indicating, that he actually is playing the role of all the protagonists performing in his videos, as well, the different characters appearing in his videos compressed in one person. The individual artist is standing for mankind/society, and – the dangers the individual is confronted with and generating at the same time.
While Surrealism, like other art movements at their time had their roots in the turning point of society caused by the industrialization, as well as the traumatization of World War I, our three Spanish surrealists are not only standing at another human made turning point 100 hundred years later – the destruction of the natural environment, the climate change endangering life – the human, animal and plant species on planet Earth, and the effects on society and the individual, but reflect this turning point in most different ways by using a technology which is standing for another turning point – the digitalization in all areas of life causing a fundamental re-thinking of human values.
Re-thinking, that’s what Albert Merino’s, Laura / Sira Cabrera’s and Ausín Saínz’s artistic work is characterizing, also re-thinking art as such. They are standing for the diversity of artistic individuality in video art /art video.
The 3 Surrealists project, featuring 10 videos by each artist created during the past 10 years would like to start a discussion about the point of view of contemporary art and moving images these days.