When, at the beginning of the XX century, photography took off, a new esthetic and cultural movement was in the process of processed. It was Surrealism, which eventually gained a manifesto in 1924 (thanks to Andrè Breton), rooted Dadaism and in Sigmund Freud’s studies on psychoanalysis. The temporal alignment brought together photography and surrealism and gave life to a strong and persistent artistic movement.
Quite an odd union at first sight, the one between the photographic medium and surrealism. The former depends intrinsically on reality: we can photograph only what exists and film, paper-made-mirror of the world, is the final result of light and materiality together. On the other side, surrealism is based on the idea that there is something beyond what is tangible. The dream, the unconscious, the instincts, something substantially not visible, definitely not photographable, but able to give sense to the whole world.
What brings the two together is the desire to question the canonic idea of the “point-of-view”. Surrealist artists believed there are infinite ways of interpreting the world because there are infinite ways of looking at it. The camera confirmed it, enabling multiple perspectives, unimaginable before. Circling around our subjects leads to ever changing focuses, approaching them renders them bigger and bigger until they incorporate the entire universe, by tilting our heads to the side even the horizon looks vertical. Analog photography needs nothing to challenge the limitations of our reality. The only special effect we must own is the imagination to change our sight.