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«Indifferenza» o altro. Per una storia del surrealismo figurativo in Italia (longue durée)

Michele Dantini


The term “surrealism” designates multiple and intricate circumstances in the case of Italy. Breton’s orthodoxy, ethnographic surrealism, political surrealism, parapsychological surrealism, studies on religion and folklore, catholic surrealism of the circle of «Frontespizio» and, of course, figurative surrealism. It is neither simple nor clear what we allude to from time to time, also because “impure” sources, such as printed illustrations or other (we try to detect something here), contribute to give “surrealism” its highly conjunctural meaning. Nor does it seem correct, on our side, to simply confirm self-promotion as “surrealist” by anyone, artist or man of letters, with a bureaucratic and notary attitude. The need arises to pose a problem of “sources”; and point out local (regional) “surrealist” italian junctions that may be very different in interests and agendas. At the same time it is necessary to free research from time-honored apologetic purposes of modernist heritage, for which Surrealism is invariably “right” and “beautiful”; in order to recover and historically articulate the motivations of those who, in Italy and elsewhere, for reasons that are artistic, political, religious and whatsoever, refused to make Breton’s point of view their own.