Ceci n’est pas une photo: Using Surrealism’s Toolbox in Your Photography
© Stefan Frank

Ceci n’est pas une photo: Using Surrealism’s Toolbox in Your Photography

Dates: Wednesdays, Nov 8–Dec 20, 2023
Time: 1–3pm (ET)
Sessions: 6 (No class on Nov 22)
Limited enrollment: 8 students
Fee: $405
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This class is sold out — but email us to join the wait list and we’ll let you know of any openings.

Our understanding of surrealism has become watered down into a set of mainstream clichés: the once-revolutionary images of melting clocks, burning giraffes, and floating rocks of Dali and Magritte are so common that we see them more as design elements on shower curtains and mouse pads than as art. In a series of weekly assignments, we’ll rummage through the surrealist’s toolbox and use key concepts and techniques like chance, juxtaposition, collage, automatism, and l’informe (formlessness) to expand our photographic vocabulary and rekindle the revolutionary spirit of this movement. Taking Rosalind Krauss’s excellent study of surrealism — The Optical Unconscious — as our roadmap, we’ll examine classical examples by Jacques-André Boiffard, Hans Bellmer, Paul Nougé, and others and follow their traces into the works of contemporary artists like John Baldessari, Duane Michals, Lucas Blalock, Cindy Sherman, and others.


This course was excellent, and I would/will recommend it to friends…. What I've liked about all of the three classes I've taken through StrudelmediaLive is that they are well-structured and organized. Stefan was exceptionally well-prepared for each session — it was all about teaching the material and he made an enormous amount of material available to the class.
—Barbara (New York City)
Thank you for guiding us down the Surrealism path. I had fun and enjoyed the course — I will be revisiting the “tool box” to feel more comfortable with Surrealism! I look forward to taking another class with you in the future.
—Alan (Minnesota)

Stefan Frank
Stefan Frank

Stefan Frank is a photographer living in Heidelberg, Germany. After completing degrees in philosophy and mathematics, he studied photography at Ostkreuzschule in Berlin, and at Atelier Smedsby in Paris. His work has been exhibited throughout Germany, and he has created a variety of different photography series on extensive travels across Asia. In his current project “Deutschlandreise,” he focuses on Germany’s complicated history, his own family, and memories.

Stefan teaches the poetics of space, nighttime photography, and much more — including presenting The Photobook Show — for StrudelmediaLive.