André Breton
[Artist, writer, editor, and critic, b. 1896, Tinchebray, France, d. 1966, Paris, France.]

 Because it did not accept the necessity of engaging in a struggle with photography that was discouraging even before it was begun, it was necessary for painting to beat a retreat so as to take up an impregnable position behind the necessity of expressing inner perception visually. (1935) 
 Radios? Fine. Syphilis? If you like. Photography? I don’t see any reason why not. (Manifesto of Surrealism, 1924) 
 The ground beneath my feet is nothing but an enormous unfolded newspaper. Sometimes a photograph comes by; it is a nondescript curiosity. (1924) 
 It is through the power of images that, in time, real revolutions may well be brought about. 
 It will in the end, be admitted that everything, in effect is an image and that the least object which has no symbolic role assigned to it is capable of standing for absolutely anything. 
 The invention of photography has dealt a mortal blow to the old modes of expression, in painting as well as in poetry, where automatic writing, which appeared at the end of the nineteenth century, is a true photography of thought. Since a blind instrument now assured artists of achieving the aim they had set themselves up to that time, they now aspired, not without recklessness, to break with the imitation of appearances. 
 I am sorry not to be able to reproduce, among the illustrations to this text, a photograph of a very handsome locomotive after it had been abandoned for many years to the delirium of a virgin forest. 
 Everything comes down, in the final analysis, to taking account of the relations of light which, from the point of view of knowledge, should perhaps be considered in its very simplest details. 
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