I have several degrees. It took me a while to get them. Some of them are a bit useless, I think (a grad dip in Business Management? I still don’t know what I’m ever going to do with that), but some of them are a bit useful, like my degree in Western Culture and Civilisation (I know, bit of a mouthful, that one, isn’t it?). The unfinished minor in theology? Not so much. An athiest with a degree in theology is obviously a gag unto itself. But it’s not useful. Understanding artwork? Somewhat useful.
It makes going to museums a pleasureable experience. I’ve gone to art galleries where I’ve seen (no joke) a piece named ‘Untitled No 2’. It was rectangular, and was divided into two panels. The first (left) side featured a pink bunny. The second (right) featured the back half of a ute. The front half was missing. All of this was illustrated against a white backdrop. (For those wondering where this painting can be found, visit MOMA, in New York City) For years I’ve assumed that the answer a comedian would give to account for the missing front-half of the ute would be: “The bunny clearly ate it”. Me? I just said it was surreal. Because honestly, that is a bit surreal.
Sometimes though, people don’t get surrealism. Or they just don’t understand how to use the term properly. If you’re uncertain as to how surrealism works, the painting above is one example. If you’d like another, nothing quite gets the point across like Australian comedian Adam Hills’s brilliant (and somewhat circuitous) explanation as to what surrealism in fact is.