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Heroes, victims or villains? Irish Presentations and Representations in Latin America and the Caribbean

Morelia, Mexico, 15-18 July 2009

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Edward James, Leonora Carrington: Surrealist victims, Surrealist villains

Imbert, Jean-Philippe (Dublin City University)

This presentation intends analysing the Irish presence existing in the surrealist dialogue established between the visual and artistic corpus of Leonora Carrington and of fellow artist Edward James, (be it in his Mexican-related poetic output or in the garden of Las Posas, San Luis Potosí). Firstly, Ireland - Cork for her, Dublin for him -  as a place of real or fictional shelter (sometimes from the future, sometimes from the past, but always from the present) will allow them both to further fathom the cultural transformations the surrealist movement undergoes and which they participate to, willingly or unwillingly. Secondly, Ireland and Leonora Carrington’s Irish cultural background and awareness will also serve as tools to refine her understanding of the Mexican reality which nurtures her artistic output, understanding she will share with Edward James. Finally, the mirroring of these two realities will in turn allow them to transform their state of exiles into a movement of quest, establishing a sometimes non-semiotic artistic meta-discourse aimed at dealing with the issues of sensuality and femininity, of religion and mythology and of dreams and fantasy, which are at the heart of the Surrealist discourse. In so doing, both artists will have merged their Irish and their Mexican experiences in  order to refine their never ending artistic projects.


The Society for Irish Latin American Studies

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