Trivium Art HistoryAndré Breton

Convulsionnaires

by Man Ray, André Breton, 1937

Woman with Long Hair, Man Ray

[The following verses were composed by Andre Breton as the introduction to Man Ray's illustrated pamphlet "La Photographie n'est pas l'art" or Photography is Not Art. The pamphet included 12 photographs by Man Ray, and seems meant to provoke, rather than answer, a primary question of the day — is photography art?]

MEN:

I would very much like to be a little bedroom mouse.

— I’d like to create just for myself living beings with the complexity of storms.

— May the wind blow when I’m trying to steer my dreams.

— May my presence be noticed in several places at once.

— I’d like to be able to change sex just as I can change shirts.

— Let me wander freely on other planets.

— And I’ll let myself lead the life of a bird, a tree, a stone as long as I can remember.

— I’d like to find and lose the philosopher’s stone.

— Make love and never lose control.

— Remove a great number of living beings with impunity.

— Afterward resuscitate a very small number of the dead.

WOMAN:

Seduce the entire world like the first sun!
But only if I don’t grow old.

But here’s Man Ray. HERE IS THE MAN WITH A MAGIC LANTERN FOR A HEAD.

More about

Man Ray
Humor, sex, and a new camera

More about

André Breton
A psychiatrist releases his mind and invents Surrealism

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