A Further Statement from Švankmajer on his Decision not to Attend the Conference at West Dean

In addition to the collective statement below, the following brief statement from Jan Švankmajer was delivered by Krzysztof Fijalkowski to those in attendance at the Surrealism Laid Bare conference at West Dean on Friday, June 18th.

There have been many questions and misunderstandings in the last few days about why I decided to cancel my attendance at the West Dean symposium.
As it appeared to me evident from the invitation paper, which I was only just able to read in Czech – the attitude of the organizers to authentic surrealism, tends to directly confuse it with the outlandish aesthetics of fashion experiments, and, on the other hand, identifies authentic surrealism as some “strict Bretonian orthodoxy” which – as is stated in the invitation paper – some “would-be disciples” morphed into something different “than the original”.
This is exactly why I couldn’t take part in the symposium.
I prefer the original.
Jan Švankmajer
(on behalf of the Czech-Slovak surrealist group)


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