The artist of this ‘map’ is unknown, but it first appeared in a Belgian magazine dedicated to surrealism, Variétés
, in 1929. Many surrealists rejected the idea of patriotism, and objected to a Euro-centric view of the art world, challenging notions of colonial supremacy.
It disrupts European conventions by positioning the Pacific Ocean at the heart of the world map. Significant regions are lost in this undoing of 1920s politics, including most of Western and Eastern Europe, and the shrinking of the continents of Africa and South America. In the author’s desire to challenge dominant narratives, the colonising powers of Western Europe, Japan and the United States are eliminated.
The World in the Time of the Surrealists
Surrealism Beyond Borders
FSC Certified paper and wood
Date of work
Original: “Le monde au temps des surréalistes” (The World in the Time of the Surrealists), from Variétés (Brussels), special Surrealist number, June 1929Tate Library