Surrealism and documentary photography don’t seem to be likely bedfellows, but in today’s world, it makes more sense than ever. Perhaps that is why the Jeu de Paume is exhibiting Eli Lotar’s photography from the 20s and 30s.
Eli Lotar (1905-1969) was a pioneer in exploring the realms of surrealism while capturing the hard truths of French society in his time. Lotar saw that surrealism was a movement that was useful for engaging socially with the world, by pointing out the absurd reality in people’s everyday struggles. Noticing the effectiveness of his vision, the mayor of Aubervilliers commissioned Lotar to make a documentary titled Aubervilliers, that highlighted the deplorable living conditions of its inhabitants.
Lotar experimented in filmmaking and worked with the surrealist filmmaker Luis Bruñuel. He also collaborated with Antoin Artaud, Roger Vitrac, Jacques and Pierre Prévert. His photos appeared in radical publications, such as George Bataille’s journal called Documents.
Perhaps his work is calling for photographers to engage socially and try to capture our truly surreal times.
Catch Eli Lotar’s show at Jeu de Paume from February 14th- May 28th.
Read the full article at: www.theguardian.com