the surrealism of ordinary things

Paul Nash. Chain and Net, John Nash’s home, Meadle, Berkshire.More from the exhibition of Paul Nash photographs. Margaret Nash wrote on the original negative of  Chain and Net, 'surrealist a very important experiment'.  This is not the surrealism of distorted vision as in Magritte or Dali, but rather the surrealism of Duchamp who seemed to find everything curious, even more so if ordinarily curious things were reassigned slightly twisted names.

It is the attention given to the ordinary that moves these images from snapshot to study.  They aren't documentary, although they have toponymic titles and dates.  They don't reveal a passionate study of a place, although they are all 'placed'.  There is a loving interest in form, not for its perfection, or its pathetic fallaciousness, but for its shape.  These seem quite pure photographs in the sense of being disinterested in the rules, the conventions, the emotive content of art.  

Paul Nash. ‘Totems’, old shipyard, Rye harbour. 1932