Dreams of Desire 21 (Enmeshed)

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Portrait Through Wire-Man Ray 1930
A highly fetishistic portrait by the master Surrealist photographer Man Ray who in his work makes everything appear fetishistic. Portrait Through Wire first appeared in Le Surrealisme au service de la Revolution in July 1930. The wire enmeshes the body, hands (always important for Man Ray) and face is suggestive of an all over silk stocking and renders the model alluringly exotic and other. However the sadness in the eyes with their mute appeal makes us aware that the wire is also a physical barrier behind which she is trapped. Her inaccessibility paradoxically increases her erotic appeal.

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57 thoughts on “Dreams of Desire 21 (Enmeshed)

    1. Thank you…the whole series is more or less about how the surrealists (mainly male) viewed desire…women are the object of desire and are venerated as such but that of course leads to objectification…and sometimes women can be the object of there vengeance as well…however Surrealism as a movement had more women participants than any other art movement so they can’t have been totally sexist…I have also put work by female artists in the series who were either bisexual or lesbian as a counterpoint namely 3,14,16, 18…obviously I find this endlessly fascinating though God knows i realise it isn’t that fascinating…thank you as always for your comments

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  1. I didn’t think about a body-fitting silk stocking with the time, but more on the inaccessibility portion. She’s alluring and unattainable. And I agree that increases her appeal. What we can’t have, but pine after.

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  2. Very interesting! I notice that there appears to be no wire mesh pattern over her hair. Is it just my eyes staring at my phone? If not, is she really behind mesh, or was it superimposed on her skin? Just want make sure I am interpreting it properly 😊

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    1. I have a soft spot for Seabrook. Both Man Ray and Michel Leiris spoke very highly of his qualities and his books on Haiti and Witchcraft are excellent if a little of their time. However the article by Leiris in Seabrook with accompanying photos in Documents is one of the most disturbing things I have read. That is a long way round way of saying yes.

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      1. Seabrook was an interesting fellow to say the least. He did have some unusual tastes, and I joke lightly about that, he had a flair for cannibalism. He certainly embraced the struggle.

        Your readers may not be so fond of that type of disturbing.

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      2. I would agree with you, he had a very dark side, which was rather matter of fact to him, really no big deal.

        It would make for a fascinating read, although I certainly understand your hesitation.

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      3. Man Ray mentions him in Self Portrait and he took photos of some of his girlfriends…he was an excellent writer, the lost writer of the lost generation. I knew you would be familiar with him, you a clever Miss Cranes

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      4. Seabrook was no slouch and had some fine qualities, in fact in some areas of his life he was rather remarkable. I don’t know his predisposition, if it is a case of the chicken or the egg coming first. I think his experiences during WWI helped to shape the person that he became. Reminds me a bit of Brando’s character, Colonel Walter E. Kurtz form ” Apocalypse Now”.

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  3. Mr. Cake, anything worthy of reading takes time to develop. It doesn’t have to be done in one sitting. The idea would make some excellent posts, “Surrealist and Suicide”. You could even do it as a series, like your “Dreams of Desire” series. Well, I hope you think about it, and consider it.

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