In this essay I will explain the differences and similarities between the two art and literary movements Dada and Surrealism. To help show you the differences between these two movements I will use one example of each movement, as a Dada example I will use Marcel Duchamp and his work "The Fountain" and for Surrealism, Salvador Dali and his painting "The Persistence Of Memory".
Dada was a movement around the time of the First World War, it started around 1915 and ended at about 1922, Surrealism followed Dada and was practised from around 1924 right through to about 1939. Dadaism was very much like a protest against art, it was an anti-art, Dadaists felt that people no longer deserved the beautiful art that they had become accustomed to because of all of the killing in the war, they felt that people had lost their values. So what Dadaists tried to do was make art ugly. In a time of industrial revolution Dadaists decided to degrade their materials using second hand, second rate objects found on the streets to create works that deliberately defied reason with the aim to shock its audience. This however is where Surrealism is notably different to Dada. Surrealists used some of the newer technology available to assist them in portraying images of the sub-conscious. Andre Breton, a critic who was a figurehead of the Surrealist movement saw Surrealism as "a means of reuniting conscious and unconscious realms of experience so completely that the world of dream and fantasy would be joined to the everyday rational world in an absolute reality, a surreality".
Marcel Duchamp's three dimensional piece "The Fountain" is not what many people would call a great piece of art. "The Fountain" is what Duchamp referred to as a readymade. This work is basically of a urinal with the word "MUTT" written on it. This is a perfect example of Dada for three reasons; firstly it is in no way like art before, secondly the materials used are not what you would call standard art materials and thirdly it makes absolutely no sense what so ever.