Detached descriptions of violent crime taken from police reports, and an impartial survey on suicide were included. Let us swim in our own bodies, leave our souls within our souls; we have no need of your knife-blade of enlightenment. Issue 4: Breton announced in the fourth issue that he was taking over the publication. His concern about disruptive factions that had developed in the Surrealist group brought him to assert his power and restate the Surrealist principles as he conceived them.
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The magazine came out with no great regularity, twelve issues appearing between the first issue and the last, dated December Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express—verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner—the actual functioning of thought.
Dictated by thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern. The manifesto explained the role artists could play in exposing the real nature of these systems. It rejected controls on artistic expression: "In the realm of artistic creation, the imagination must escape from all constraint and must under no pretext allow itself to be placed under bonds… and we repeat our deliberate intentions of standing by the formula, complete freedom for art".
Much like Dada, the history of the Surrealist movement can be traced through its many journals and reviews. Photography came to occupy a central role in Surrealist activity. In the works of Man Ray and Maurice Tabard, the use of such procedures as double exposure, combination printing, montage, and solarization dramatically evoked the union of dream and reality. Other photographers used techniques such as rotation or distortion to render their images uncanny.
Just as important was another discovery: even the most prosaic photograph, filtered through the prism of Surrealist sensibility, might easily be dislodged from its usual context and irreverently assigned a new role. Breton celebrated his faithful supporters and spitefully denounced those members who had defected from his circle and betrayed his doctrine.
La Révolution surréaliste