On the fraudulent activities of ‘Surrealism-Now’
What today is labeled as ‘Art’ has nothing to do with Imagination and the Marvelous and, in most cases, is no more than a fabricated rendering of the miserabilism that dominates the world. Of course, there are exceptions, those oxygenated brilliancies we seek in our quest for the gold of time, inspired marvels that will never follow the rules of academic aesthetics. What interests us most in art is the act of creating, rather than the result: as already made clear by André Breton in 1928, in his essay Surrealism and Painting, there is no such thing as ‘surrealist art’. Painting, poetry, photography, sculpture and cinema, amongst other activities, are, for us, means of transforming our relationship with the world. Poetic inspiration is not a secondary phenomenon for us; it is essential for all authentic art. Abandoning poetic inspiration for the sake of social pressures or those of the market would result in the absurd consequence of destroying the creative spirit itself.
The total submission to conformist social codes and to the rules of the market by an association of pseudo-artists deceitfully calling itself the ‘International Movement Surrealism-Now’ compels us to caution all sympathizers with Surrealism against this band of swindlers and purveyors of rubbish.
Under the leadership of a certain Santiago Ribeiro, this grouping has already manifested itself, in 2014, in a collective exhibition at the historic Headquarters of the Knights Templar in the town of Condeixa, near Coimbra, Portugal.
Now, the same band, still lead by Mr. Ribeiro, who has informed the media that he is "the main leader" of the "largest surrealist group in the world”, with "over one hundred participants from more than twenty-five countries", and having a number of church-muralists and militarists as members, is once again exhibiting in Condeixa, an event that has been widely publicized. Here are some quotes from an interview with Santiago Ribeiro that might shed some light on the ‘philosophy’ of the ‘Surrealism-Now’ enterprise:
* Surrealism in the twenty-first century is completely different from the movement that appeared in 1924, when Breton launched his manifesto. Today’s realities are completely different: today, we have global warming, generalized capitalism and a completely different form of communicating...
* If Surrealism is to survive, it has to live in accordance with the present era...
* Surrealism according to Breton’s principles is not something to which I would like to belong.
* My own painting has an ancient atmosphere of crucifixion...
* Something that does not exist is what I call ‘surreal’...
* There are places in our country of such beauty that we take the opportunity to talk about their cultural and historical richness while at the same time promoting our art...
We reply to this opportunist Ribeiro and his ‘Surrealism-Now’ gang: DAMN YOU ALL!
The aspirations of true Surrealism are elsewhere: the advent of a new civilization where banal reality will be transformed into a marvelous surreality. We despise your ridiculous, demagogic and cacophonic manifestations that falsify Surrealism’s ambitions and aspirations and that attempt to take commercial advantage from a fraudulent activity.
This declaration has been signed by the surrealists:
Xoan Abeleira; Jaime Alfaro; Alberto Assumpção; Melatonino Beal; Magdalena Benavente; Jan Bervoets; Verónica Cabanillas; Miguel de Carvalho; Eugenio Castro; José Miguel Pérez Corrales; Daniel Cotrina; David Coulter; Kenneth Cox; Célia Cymbalista; Luke Dominey; Guy Ducornet; Kathleen Fox; Victor Fuentes Marambio; Tono Galán; Javier Gálvez; Guy Girard et les autres membres du Groupe de Paris du Mouvement Surréaliste; Xesús González Gómez; Allan Graubard; Vicente Gutiérrez Escudero; Janice Hathaway; Beatriz Hausner; Mazo Heck; Rodrigo Hernández Piceros; Dale Houston; Bill Howe; Karl Howeth; Joseph Jablonski; Bruno Jacobs; Alex Januário; Patrick Lepetit; Sergio Lima; Rik Lina; Léo Litha; Michael Löwy; Alexandre Magno; Lurdes Martínez; Armando McMurray; Richard Misiano-Genovese, Luiz Morgadinho; David Nadeau; Peter Overton; Jean-Pierre Paraggio; Gregorio Paredes; Nelson de Paula; Seixas Peixoto; Pierre Petiot; Pedro Prata; Carlos Rangel; Raman Rao; Alejandro Rejon Huchin; John Richardson; José Manuel Rojo; Penelope Rosemont; Enrique de Santiago; Gregg Simpson; Dan Stanciu; Ludovic Tac; Jonathan Tarry; Laurens Vancrevel; Rodrigo Verdugo Pizarro; Cristina Vouga; Claudia Vila; Her de Vries; Richard Waara; Zazie Evi Möchel;
being members of the following surrealist groups: Cabo Mondego Section of Portuguese Surrealism; Grupo Surrealista de Madrid; Leeds Surrealist Group; Groupe de Paris du Mouvement Surréaliste; Chicago Surrealist Group; Xalundes/Grupo Surrealista Galego; Brumes Blondes, Holland; Grupo Surrealista Derrame (Chile); Grupo Surrealista de São Paulo; Grupo Surrealista Agharta (Chile); Grupo DeCollage (São Paulo); Groupe le Vertèbre et le Rossignol; Peculiar Mormyrid Group;
joined by independent surrealists and sympathizers;
acting together in the service of the International Movement of Surrealism.
January 19, 2018