Visual Research: The Surrealist Body


All my creative projects start with visual research. In order to create something that approaches originality, you must be aware of what has already been done. Moreover if you want to create something that outlives time, you don't want to get stuck in a specific aesthetic.


Viviane Sassen


This visual research investigates how Surrealists from different times have modified the body in photography, theater and art. My research started with the Surrealist movement from the 1920’s / 1930’s. I took the fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli as a starting point and looked at the way Schiaparelli and her contemporaries - Dali, Magritte, Oppenheim and Man Ray - let their animate bodies transcend reality by morphing them into an inanimate subject. I also looked at later photographers like Guy Bourdin and Viviane Sassen, who used similar principles in their work. This moodboard served as inspiration for a personal photography series I published earlier.


Image credits from left to right, down to up: Lucile Boiron, Guy Bourdin, Jean-Paul Goude, Viviane Sassen, Lucile Boiron, Méret Oppenheim, Patrick Tosani, still from The Holy Mountain(1973), Man Ray

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