Avant-Garde: Poetics and Politics

Part I –

Tristan Tzara’s Dada Manifesto (1918) and André Breton’s Manifesto of Surrealism (1924), in at attempt to reverse the disastrous logic that made World War I an inevitability, introduce the Dada and
Surrealist Movements as a “Way” to tap into hidden resources of the mind using chance as a primary means of composition as well as dreaming as alternative forms of knowledge.

In your essay compare the manifestoes in terms of the approaches Tzara and Breton attack (logic, realism, inflated values) and the rationale they provide for the Dada or Surrealist approach as
superior in reorganizing or disorganizing reality.

Part II – Application of Dada or Surrealist theory on visual art and poetry. Select 2 Dada and 2 Surrealist Works (50%); discuss the poem of Andre Breton, “Vigilance.”

Why are each of these works Dada or Surrealist? (use Dada and Surrealist manifestoes, class discussions, i.e., alchemy, “one in the other,” metamorphosis or morphing of the image, etc),

Discuss Andre Breton’s poem,, “Vigilance,” utilizing the application of alchemy.


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