Surrealism As A Method of Interpretation – Art Essay
The basic idea of Rosalind Krauss’ Surrealist ‘spacing’ seems to be that it uses the fact that photographs are both indexical and representative, and in arresting the flow of what we see as the ‘real’, this shows how we see
the world as a series of signs. If we are made to look at the subject in an interpretive way, as a sign, and at the same time know that it is ‘real’, it makes us interrogate the nature of that reality, and see that it is constructed. If we look at Man Ray’s Tears (1930-32) we see that while the crisp detail seems to emphasise the indexical nature of the photograph, the close, “insistent” cropping simultaneously indicates the ‘rupture’ with reality which has occurred; that it is now a representation of reality, of itself. This is emphasised by the punctuation of frozen ‘tears’ which allude to motion or liquidity while at the same time are emphatic in their concreteness. The dual nature of their simultaneous solidity and fluidity to a certain extent echoes Krauss’ ideas of the ‘doubling’ of reality and its destabilising qualities.