Inspiring quote ...

 by Ida Kar:

"I am sure I shall never feel too old to do what I want."

Ida Kar (1908–1974). Pseudonym of Ida Karamanian (or Karamian), Armenian photographer and militant born in Tanbov, Russia. She grew up in Russia, Armenia and Iran before her family moved to Egypt when she was 13. In 1928 she was sent by her parents to study medicine and chemistry in Paris, where she quickly came into contact with Surrealists; she attended the première of Un chien andalou, an experience that sparked an interest in photography. In 1933 she returned to Egypt where, with the aid of her then husband, she opened an experimental photographic studio, Idabel. It was there, later in the 1930s, that she met Georges Henein, Ikbal El Alaily and other members of the Egyptian Surrealist group; she took part in their activities, exhibiting in their Art et Liberté shows in 1942 and 1944. In 1945 she moved with her second husband, the artist and critic Victor Musgrave, to London where she met up with E. L. T Mesens, Paul Nash and other members of the English Surrealist group. By the mid- 1950s her status as a photographer was firmly established, thanks to her portraits (e.g., of Hans Arp, André and Elisa Breton, Man Ray, Mesens and Joan Miró). She exhibited at Musgrave’s Gallery One in 1954 (Forty Artists from Paris and London) and had a very successful one-woman show at the Whitechapel Gallery six years later. Her subjects included artists, writers, composers and museum directors and her work is exemplified by her bromide prints of Alan Davie and Keidrich Rhys. True to her principles, she refused offers of commercial work in advertising and fashion and instead set out to photograph animals and stones after producing 100 portraits of people. Her revolutionary fervor found expression on a soapbox in Hyde Park.
Keith Aspley, Historical Dictionary of Surrealism, (Lanham,Toronto, Plymouth,The Scarecrow Press, Inc, 2010), pp. 278-279


Trois de mes Amours: William Turner, Paul Verlaine & George Brassens

Josephe Mallord William Turner, Moonlight on  Lucerne Lake (1841)
Clair de Lune

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune
Ils n'ont pas l'air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d'extase les jets d'eau,
Les grands jets d'eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

Paul Verlaine

Joseph Mallord William Turner, In Venice, A Storm in the Piazzeta (1840)

L'Enterrement de Verlaine

Le revois-tu mon âme, ce Boul' Mich' d'autrefois
Et dont le plus beau jour fut un jour de beau froid :
Dieu : s'ouvrit-il jamais une voie aussi pure
Au convoi d'un grand mort suivi de miniatures ?

Tous les grognards - petits - de Verlaine étaient là,
Toussotant, Frissonnant, Glissant sur le verglas,
Mais qui suivaient ce mort et la désespérance,
Morte enfin, du Premier Rossignol de la France.

Ou plutôt du second (François de Montcorbier,
Voici belle lurette en fut le vrai premier)
N'importe ! Lélian, je vous suivrai toujours !
Premier ? Second ? vous seul. En ce plus froid des jours.

N'importe ! Je suivrai toujours, l'âme enivrée
Ah ! Folle d'une espérance désespérée
Montesquiou-Fezensac et Bibi-la-Purée
Vos deux gardes du corps, - entre tous moi dernier.

Georges Brassens


"Where is the wagon going?"

Paul Delvaux, Solitude

Paul Delvaux, Le viaducte

Paul Delvaux, Petite gare de Nuit

Paul Delvaux, La Gare Forestier

Where is the wagon going?

The wagon is going to the woods.The woods
belong to the winter blues
How do you find their adress?
You turn the door around.
You read the paens of migrant birds, of
water fishs, of damned and cursed
Puszta beetles.

Mereth Oppenheim

Paul Delvaux portrait par Marcel Broodthaers


Combien de sourires ;)?

 Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mona Lisa (1983)

 Salvador Dali, Selfportrait as Mona Lisa (1954)

Marcel Duchamp, "ready made", (1909)
Pourquoi s’apitoyer sur le sort d’un homme qui a perdu l’espérance? Est-ce qu’une perte ne peut pas être un bien, telle que l aperte de l’appendice, par exemple, l’appendice vermiforme ou ilécoecal , et l’espérance, ne serait –elle pas l’appendicite de l’âme c’est à dire  une inflammation, une vertu aujourd’hui inutile, nuisible, dangereuse et dont il faut savoir se débarrasser au plus vite en cas de crise?Pan! un coup de bisturi. C’est fait en quelques secondes. Et trois pointes de suture pour retendre le sourire.
Blaise Cendrars

Andy Warhol, Mona Lisa,  Serigraph (1963)

Un sourire
Qu'est-ce qui fait craquer les gens
qui fait s'arrêter le temps
qui vous laisse sans argument
vous désarme et vous chavire
qu'est-ce qui fait qu'en un instant
on est tous comme des enfants
qui trouvent en s'émerveillant
des pièces d'or dans leur tirelire

un sourire
un sourire




Surrealist Texts by Surrealist Women


                     In celebration of Benjamin Péret

the lettuce devours its leaves

the night  its stars

the insect becomes hopeful

the unfortunate cow

dissolves unnoticed

while the soap eats grass

and grows fat

the avenues forget their names

and are referred  to only

as  Smith

mud puddles take the initiative

to spring at well-dressed men

and top hats aren´t safe from snowballs

even in the midst summer

(Paris 1966)


Penelope Rosemont, Penelope Rosemont (ed), Surrealist WomenAn International Anthology ,(University of Texas, Austin, 1998), pp. 320-321

[...] Desire is in reality the instant when the sky wants to lower itself so deeply down the ground that the bodies  disintegrate into themselves and when the sound of dripping that is heard is the eyes falling into the surface of the sea  that gets a hundred years of memory out of only one second  the sea in which we are drowning, and which gives us birth at the same moment.

Kajsa Bergh, translated from the Swedish by Bruno Jacobs

Penelope Rosemont (ed), Surrealist Women, An International Anthology (University of Texas, Austin, 1998), p. 456


Prolonged horizontal pleasures;

vertical  principles

aligned like forest trees;

a hot tangent  of poetry

tending toward madness.

What is radius?

A mere infinity:

impulses without end

pouring off the circumference,

Just as my days

Overflow the margins

and come full circle.

Here I Am:

point center.

Mary Low,   Penelope Rosemont (ed), Surrealist Women, An International Anthology (University of Texas, Austin, 1998), pp.209-210


Maruja Mallo (1902-1995) Galician painter

Maruja Mallo by Tamara De Lempicka
Maruja Mallo, Desnudo en la playa

Maruja Mallo
"Surrealism always existed, like the original on- sea celled creature, like an anthropological secret.
Absent from physical vision, it must be viewed with eyes closed. And I with my pencil ready under the pillow I  never use, awken with my brain in my hand." Maruja Mallo in Penelope Rosemont (ed), Surrealist Women, (University of Texas, Austin, 1998), p. 73.

Maruja Mallo, Naturaleza Viva, oil on canvas, (1943)

Nature is what began to attract me: I want to discover a new pattern. This pattern is the intimate architecture of nature and humankind, the living mathematics  of the skeleton.
In nature - clairvoyant and mysterious, spontaneous and structured - devoid of anachronistic ghosts, I analyse the structure of minerals and vegetables, the diversity of crystalline and biological forms synthetized in numerical and geometric patterns, in a living universal order. 
Maruja Mallo in Penelope Rosemont (ed), Surrealist WomenAn International Anthology, (University of Texas, Austin, 1998), p. 73.

... "a revolutionary context is difficult to maintain"...

Maruja Mallo, Antro De Fosiles (1930)
Maruja Mallo, Basuras

the doors are open. we must pass through.
nothing is necessary but the bones that walk within us.
how they rattle in the bloodleting ...
it is inevitable that the heart of things the meat
is raw and it is blue. these poems retain blood.
life hurts us if we bother to feel, yes, work stinks,
leisure is without hope. the only way out is inward
and forward.
if we do not take it upon ourselves to struggle for
individual and social freedom our silence will damn us.
beauty pain terror hope dispair
these are all the same word
it is important that we remember to feel and this is
not so obvious as it sounds.
in these poem, the I is not exactly me, 
the you is not exactly you.
this growing things that strangle all life from luxury
and squeeze the almonds in a bitter embrace
the serpents take them down into the valerian underground
and the serpents feathers rake fortune into furrows.
it is an age where footholds are few and far between,
a revolutionary context is difficult to maintain,
yet we continue to seek and hold tight to the free spirit.
so follow the bones ...

 Hilary Booth, Preface I Am Rain, (Adelaide, Free Association, 1984)