this is what i call "image arcing": surrealism tries to evoke emotional energy by getting it to blast out of juxtaposed images, just as you can see a spark jump between two electrodes held apart.
in his 1924 Manifesto of Surrealism andré breton quotes pierre reverdy:
"The image is a pure creation of the mind.
It cannot be born from a comparison but from a juxtaposition of two more or less distant realities.
The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be — the greater the emotional power and poetic reality . . ."
— André Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism, University of Michigan Press, 1972, pp. 20
it's not clear what reverdy meant by a "distant and true" relationship between "juxtaposed realities" but "distant" is easy to grasp. as max ernst put it, ". . .the reconciliation of two (or more) seemingly incompatible elements within a scheme, incompatible to them, provokes the strongest poetic ignitions"
— Max Ernst, What is Surrealism?, in Surrealists on Art, Lucy Lippard, ed., Prentice-Hall, 1970, pp. 135
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