Subversion of the Image

The Birds Are Following You-Paul Nouge-Subversion des Images 1968

In late 1929-early 1930 the poet, photographer, theoretician and co-founder of the Belgian Surrealist Group Paul Nougé created a series of 19 photographs that were collected and published as Subversion des Images in 1968. The series lives up to the title, subverting and questioning perception in the manner of his friend and fellow co-founder Rene Magritte, who is featured in several of the images.

57 thoughts on “Subversion of the Image

  1. Only 19 photographs? Or is that just in this collection? And a poet/theoretician… I think its so interesting that this movement went beyond art and into the realms of philosophy and politics. Wouldn’t you love to listen in on their private conversations? Anyway, the photos are really cool. I especially like the New Way of Juggling and the Magnetic table – so ominous! Great post, sir!

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    1. The book was only 19 photographs… the surrealists at the onset were determined that it be more than just another art movement… it’s roots were Dada and that was avowedly anti art. The Belgian wing brought an intellectual rigour to the movement that helped it go international. Yet more information about the surrealists that you didn’t need to know. But I do love them so.

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  2. These photos are wonderful Mr. Cake. The creative eye of Paul Nougé, fantastic. “The Birth of the Object”, is my favorite of the ones that you’ve included in your post. Curious, which ones made the cut and why? Thank you for the exposure to an new artist. ~ Miss Cranes

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    1. Thank Miss Cranes I thought you would appreciate. There is an accompanying essay that explains the theory behind the selection. I haven’t read it as yet in full. I am always on the look out for striking images. Thanks you for your comments.

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  3. Lovely selection Mr Cake. I too have spent time in Belgium. We used to holiday there sometimes when we lived in Germany. Lovely country, and people, once you get to know them, BUT they do tend to run the whole business as 3 separate entities!

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      1. Very true…the film director Luis Bunuel said in an ideal world he would sleep for 21 hours a day and spend three hours on art and living. Sounds about right.


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