Advertisement that reflects the influence of Surrealism

Choose one of these prompts. Write and/or upload your example. Consider how these earlier movements maintain their relevance today. How? Why?

Respond to 3 classmates for full credit:

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1. From any current magazine, select an advertisement that reflects the influence of Surrealism. Upload a photo or scan of that advertisement, and explain why it reflects Surrealism.

2. Create your own “ready-made.” Title it, and upload a photo of it.

3. Think of a smell, taste, or experience that evokes a memory and write a stream-of-consciousness narrative.

Recall that “stream of consciousness” is a literary device consisting of the private musings, or internal dialogue, of a character. It features a succession of images and ideas connected by free association rather than by logical argument or narrative sequence. The stream-of-consciousness device recalls the technique of free association used by Freud in psychotherapy; it also recalls the discontinuous-verse style of the Imagist poets. In a stream-of-consciousness writing, the action is developed through the mind of the principal character as he or she responds to stimuli through the dual play of conscious and subconscious. In this exercise, the stimuli would be a smell, taste, or other experience.

4. Explore the influence of Freud’s views of sexuality on contemporary culture.

Contemporary culture’s attitudes toward sexuality are unimaginable without Freud’s contributions to the study of the subject. His 1916 lecture “The Sexual Life of Human Beings” was groundbreaking for treating topics including homosexuality, which were taboo in some social circles at the time. The fact that some American states and some European countries honor same-sex marriages is inconceivable without the pioneering work of Freud. The 1994 independent film Spanking the Monkey, which explores a son’s sexual tryst with his mother during a summer when his father is absent, depends upon universal familiarity with the Oedipal complex. More generally, one might think of Freud’s emphasis on the primacy of sexual desire in relation to the constant focus on sex and sexuality in contemporary advertising. “Sex sells,” they say, but if Freud had not lifted the lid off the study of sexuality, would so many advertisements feature sexy, near-naked young people?

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