Surrealism in England: 1936 and After Revisited
Canterbury School of Architecture, UCA Canterbury
18th and 19th June 2020
Call For Papers: Deadline 3rd March 2020
In 1986 Canterbury College of Art (now University for the Creative Arts Canterbury) hosted the symposium and exhibition, Surrealism in England: 1936 and After. The events were primarily organised by Toni del Renzio, the former Head of History of Art and Design at the College. The symposium and exhibition resulted in two publications, the exhibition catalogue which included illustrations, essays and 32 pages of Surrealist poetry and prose including contributions from Roland Penrose and George Melly. The second volume was made up of essays from the symposium by del Renzio and others. Del Renzio’s career as an artist, graphic designer, member of the Independent Group and magazine editor, spanned the disciplines of art and design yet he was consistently interested in the ‘surreal’ as a radical practice. The two-day conference aims to explore the diverse and complex legacies of surrealism in art and design practice and theory.
As we approach almost one hundred years since the first surrealist manifestos, this event at UCA in 2020 revisits the 1986 Symposium, which was itself revisiting the 1936 Surrealist Exhibition in London. We want to explore the multiple re-imaginings of surrealism and its far reaching impact on visual culture, architecture, design and theory. The uncertainty and provocative character of surrealism finds a renewed prescience in the current climate and we want to capture current research on the history and practice of surrealism in Britain. To explore the current sites of Surrealism, whether in architectural theory or in the gallery, particularly given the forthcoming British Surrealism exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
We welcome 300 word abstracts for 15 minute papers which explore, but are not restricted to, the themes of:
- Curating and exhibiting Surrealism
- Revisiting the history of Surrealism in Britain
- Re-imaging Surrealism in contemporary practice
- Surrealist challenges to disciplinary boundaries
- Surrealist challenges to dominant norms
- Surrealism and the everyday
- Playing with Surrealism
- The politics of Surrealism
Cover from the Original Symposium held in Canterbury in 1986