Surrealism In Wales

Reviewed in the Morning Star…

Thanks f=t my friend Lynne for dropping her copy of the paper round.

And in glorious PDF

Hands that judicious can feel soft as your face

Last night I was rooting about in the attic, ostensibly “tidying up”, when I found this.

Originally a found object it is now a re-found, found object in state of poor repair…

Perhaps a commentary on the state of justice under Johnson and Patel – her left hand joined to the wrist by blu-tack.

And Onan Cried Over His Spilt Milk

Issue 88 of the Trotskyist newspaper Socialist Challenge contained a four page Surrealist Challenge supplement presenting work from British and American surrealists and the Trotsky-Breton Manifesto for Independent Revolutionary Art. Whilst it was published with a disclaimer from the Socialist Challenge editorial board over violent and sexist imagery in some of the ‘automatic texts’ presented, socialist feminists staged an occupation of the Socialist Challenge offices in protest and several letters on the topic appeared in subsequent issues.

Less well known is the text And Onan Cried Over His Spilt Milk attributed to the “Sara Emanuele De Maupers Faction of the Surrealist Group in England” which attacks Socialist Challenge’s self-criticism over the issue. So we were pleased not only to receive a copy of this text from John Richardson but shortly afterwards to find an article discussing it in World Revolution paper of the International Communist Current.

This latter makes the error of seeing the surrealist break with what it considered Trotskyism and feminism to be a shift to the left when it later became apparent that it represented a sharp move to the right and abandonment of the terrain of radical politics.

That said, it is unclear that the Onan text represented the views of most of those who had contributed to the Surrealist Challenge supplement.

This piece takes up the trajectory of some of those associated with the Surrealist Challenge and perhaps those who issued the Onan declaration…

There were, of course, other surrealists active in Britain at the time who remained politically engaged.

Melmoth no2

A while ago we stumbled across the interesting surrealist publication Melmoth which was included in the anarchist journal Freedom- December 1980. This was a modest 8 page affair.

We are pleased now to be able to bring you issue two of Melmoth (thanks to John Richardson).

This is a much more substantial publication issued as a 36 page pamphlet and listing over fifty contributors.

John Welson explains some of the background to Melmoth and to Hinge Of History which preceded it.

“The Hinge of History could be seen as a one off.

Conroy Maddox and myself (with the help of Pauline Drayson) edited it and put the whole thing together over two evenings, making the collages together and laying out the text and images. It was a supplement that was included in Freedom: Anarchist Fortnightly. Conroy and myself had been invited to create the supplement by Frank Wright and Philip Sansome who were involved with Freedom.
Melmoth Group and two issues of the publication was/were in an embryonic stage at this time already, one did not exclude the other, it was more of a time factor as I recall. Conroy and I were up against the clock to provide a supplement and we just met and put it together for the deadline for publication. With Tony Pusey and Michael Richardson participating and Haifa Zangana and Salah Faiq (as well as Abdul Kader El Janabi on his frequent visits from Paris, let us remember that he edited four important issues of “The Moment” some years later) there was a very real energy to Melmoth. We were (as a group and as individuals) in contact and communication as well as involvement with groups around the world, from Rosemont in the USA, France, Australia, Japan, Portugal, The Netherlands and when ever anyone visited London we as a group organised a meeting with the visitors.

There was a very real pulse of energy around and in Melmoth (we agreed upon the name early on respecting the work by Charles Maturin)”

Facing Reality

The Smile Goblin

Small ornament purchased at 11.36am, 2nd October 2020

Street found, hand-drawn, sticker 11.38am 2nd October 2020

The sympathy of colour between the two objects is striking.

They resonate together.

I would normally leave street stickers in situ but this one was peeling away in the rain and asked to be taken.

Moving in a Mysterious Way

The Grand Opening

Zoom call

Cave Painting