Prompt: “Oneirataxia” - n. The inability to differentiate between dreams and reality.
This print depicts Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dali. These two 20th century giants of popular culture both took a great interest in dreams. Freud revolutionized the way we think of the human mind and invented the field of psychoanalysis. His theories of dreams analyzed events from reality and defined their role/function in the dream world—how people’s conscious concerns in their waking state manifested themselves in the subconscious.
Dali, born a few years after Freud published his “Interpretation of Dreams”, was greatly influenced by the Austrian neuropathologist. However, as an artist, his approach was quite different: “In the Surrealist period, I wanted to create the iconography of the interior world and the world of the marvelous, of my [intellectual] father, Freud.” Dali took elements from dreams and made them into tangible, visible things in the real world.
Just as Freud influenced Dali, so did he affect the rest of the world—his work remains influential to this day, shaping our own understanding and perception of dreams. Most people haven’t read Freud, but psychoanalytic terminology has filtered into our daily lexicon, the way we talk about ourselves and each other, the way in which we think and understand our own minds.
Dali was one of the great interpreters of Freud, bringing his ideas into the public eye through stark, haunting visualizations that leave a deep psychological impression upon the viewer, even without fully understanding the particular symbolism and meaning of a given work. The role of the Writer(Thinker) and the role of the Artist(Dreamer) have an interesting symbiosis within the greater (sub)consciousness of the public, in a way that blurs the line between our conscious thoughts and the subconscious cultural influences that surround us.
Prompt: “Oneirataxia” - n, the inability to differentiate between dreams and reality
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