" I think it's an interesting concept, to be an inspiration for yourself."
Muse Letter No. 19
MUSE INTERVIEW : : with The DEBUTANTE
(Rachel Ashenden & Molly Gilroy Photo: Solen Photography)
A couple of weeks ago, in a way too noisy cafe three women sat down to have a talk about: the Feminist-Surrealist Manifesto, muses and female friendship. These women were: Rachel Ashenden, Molly Gilroy and me. I was there to interview them about their art journal “The Debutante” which they had published at the beginning of this year in Edinburgh.
This is a more or less accurate, transcription of our encounter:
As a person who has not studied art and only a vague knowledge about it: What is surrealism exactly?
Rachel: Surrealism was a cultural movement founded in the 1920s, which strived to reconcile the antagonisms of dream and reality through art and literature. In spite of its radical, anti bourgeois politics, women practitioners were sometimes regarded as sources of inspiration for the men's artistic pursuits, rather than as surrealists in their own right. The Debutante is part of a wider movement to challenge the liminal status of women surrealists, and explore their continued relevance in contemporary art today.
Molly: Exactly. Surrealism is more than an aesthetic; it’s political and it’s contemporary too. It is a challenge to the mundane experience of the world, exposing those subconscious layers, paradoxes and juxtapositions. The unexpected, chance encounters, object trouves (found objects), happenings which are part of a sur-reality. Surrealism can revolutionise your everyday life.
Photo: Solen Photography
I mean it is all a bit surreal this year. – How did you find each other?