Surrealism & the Unconscious

Revealing the Unconscious

Surrealism is merely the only concept that involves interpretation of dreams using specific unconscious processes. Surrealism was a movement that started in the early 1920’s. It is still an open question whether Surrealism is something of the past or whether its concepts prevail to this day. Surrealism has always been an interest of mine, which interest is now central to my dissertation study.

When researching the topic, I was simply intrigued, especially when reading Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theories. I have been experiencing nightmares and hypnagogic imagery, my entire life. I decided to work on this theme so I would be able to discover the intention of my dreams, re-live my past and develop the findings into an art piece. I started my methodological research by seeing a Psychotherapist, where the doctor applied psychoanalytic methods in order to enter into my unconscious. At first, I was a bit skeptical about having Psycho therapeutic sessions; I asked myself if this would actually work …and let me just say, that it was worth it. Not only did the Psychotherapist access my unconscious, but the sessions gave me a better understanding of how my mind works.

The first three sessions involved in discussing my recurring dreams. Most of my dreams are a repetition of my childhood experiences. Mostly they take part in traumatic past experiences. What is amazing is that since I barely recall anything from my childhood (almost nothing at all), I managed to conclude that it is my mind’s mechanism of how it copes with a very unpleasant situation; a way of eliminating it entirely from my mind in order not to re-experience the emotions triggered by it.

The next two sessions required unconscious methods by using flash cards. The flash cards chosen always ended up being a representation of my traumatic experiences, the upbringing of having no male figure in my life, and the dark secrets that were always concealed from me. My dreams have a repetition of an eerie presence; constantly running after me; a symbolic meaning or a metaphor of me seeking the truth, running away from unbearable emotions, suppressing my emotional and upsetting background.


Surrealism can be an open passage way of accessing my suppressed memories and this can be a revelation of my unconscious. I do believe that Surrealism is not dead. It lives among us; it is who we are deep inside our minds. With just a bit of work, one can be able to understand so much about their history and what makes them who they are today. Your dreams ARE telling you something!

Hopefully my final art work for my thesis will show this investigation thoroughly and my experiences will be a translation shown throughout forming a new way of creating art. I intend to show the viewers the power of the unconscious, the power of the human mind, and how Surrealism can help us transmit all this into an expressive art work exhibited at the Final Year Exhibition at MCAST.

PE̲RSPETTIVA– Kelsey May Connor



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