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Metarealism is a direction in Russian poetry and art that was born in the 1970s to the 1980s. The term was first used by Mikhail Epshtein, who coined it in 1981 and made it public in the Soviet magazine "Voprosy Literatury" in 1983; see below his "Theses on Metarealism and Conceptualism" from 1983 and the following years [1] Also: Third Wave: The New Russian Poetry. Ed. K. Johnson & S. M. Ashby. Preface by M. Epshtein, A. Wachtel, A. Parshchikov. University of Michigan Press, 1992 ISBN 0-472-06415-0, p. 10, 53, 184 [2], Tom Epstein's essay «Metarealism» in the anthology Crossing Centuries: The New Generations in Russian Poetry. Ed. High, John. NY: Talisman House Pub., 2000 ISBN 1-883689-90-2, ISBN 978-1-883689-90-2, p. 87-89, and Marjorie Perloff "Russian Postmodernism: An Oxymoron?" in Postmodern Culture, Volume 3, # 2, January 1993 [3].

M. Epshtein insists that in its philosophic dimension metarealism is "metaphysical realism," while "stylistically" metarealism is "metaphorical" realism. (See the most detailed explanation and exposition of this term in Epshtein's articles "Theses on Metarealism and Conceptualism" [4], "A Catalogue of the New Poetries" (Russian version) Archived September 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. and in its English version [5] Thus, "meta" means both "through" and "beyond" the reality that we all can see; hence, "metarealism" is the realism of the hyperphysical nature of things. The main expression of its essence is given through a non-visual metaphor or, according to another Epshtein's term, a "metabola" (rather than hyperbole), that means "transfer" or "transition," opening many dimensions. [See part 3 in Archived September 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. "Metabola" is different from the symbol or a "visual" metaphor, because it assumes the interosculation of realities. See: M.Epshtein. After the Future: the Paradoxes of Postmodernism & Contemporary Russian Culture. University of Massachusetts Press, 1995, 416 p. ISBN 0-87023-973-2, ISBN 0-87023-974-0, pp. 40–50. Metarealism has very little to do with surrealism, since it appeals to the superconscious and not to the subconscious, thus opening up a many-dimensional perception of the world.

Metarealism further gained traction after it became a subject of the House of Artists debate at an exhibition of the Hyperrealists, where its utility was discussed as a new method of creation to overcome traditional realism.[1]

What is metarealism?[edit]

Metarealism is synonymous to metaconscience, which means beyond psychological consciousness, beyond a subjective psychological polarized view of reality. Metarealism seeks to depict the reality which exists beyond that psychological subjective perspective. Metarealism proposes not only to communicate further than the pictorial aspect of the perception of other dimensions of reality, but also the essence of those dimensions and their relation to us as human beings. Metarealism then becomes a tool for the evolution of consciousness; just like in the old days when artists painted sacred art to depict their vision of the reality they perceived, through their spiritual interpretation of other dimensions. Thus, Epstein explained that the entire history of world art is the premise and source of metarealism, particularly its condensed codes, encyclopedic summaries, and extracts.[2] For instance, metabola or metabole is derived from the dictionary and a microencyclopedia of culture, compressed and translated from one language to another so that it pertains to a reality consisted of interpenetration of different consubstantial realities.[1] For Epstein, metarealism is an attempt to return to the word the fullness of its figurative and transcendent meanings.[3]

Metarealism could be also considered a sacred art, in that it also tries to depict, through a [metaconscious] perspective, the essence of reality as perceived by a metaconscious mind. Meta meaning, a holistic view of reality as perceived by a metaconscious mind, who sees reality as a whole rather than from a subjective personalized intellectually fragmented point of view. Metarealism is the materialization in pictorial form of the reality of other dimensions and their direct effect, and relation upon us. Metarealism tries to depict the relations between those dimensions of reality and how we psychologically interpret them through our sub mental symbolism. As a narrative style, metarealism does not have a clearly defined lyrical hero and focuses instead on the so-called sum of perceptions, which is "the geometrical space constituted by points of view.[2]

Metarealism in visual art[edit]

According to Bernard De Montréal,[4] most contemporary visual arts are involutionary art that expresses the dissimulated frustrations and struggle of the unconscious self in her search for real identity through the euphoric, sub mental symbolism of the art form an avocation of the soul that has little in common with the interdimensional identity of the self.

Conscious or mental art "metarealism" when created by an metaconscious artist is inspired from the higher self, and is a channel for the dictation of the conscious science of art, instead of being simply a lower form of self-expression, a cultural artefact of relative value.

The mental artist has little need for unconscious expression and directs her creative "expiration" toward the exploration of higher consciousness through her art, rather than simply entertaining a fictitious role. Art in its astral form belongs to our kind of civilization. We still need its contention that there is more to reality than appears at first sight. Art in its higher form is therefore created by a totally new human being.


  1. ^ a b Mesaros, Caludiu (2011). Knowledge Communication: Transparency, Democracy, Global Governance. Editura Universității de Vest. p. 47. ISBN 9789731253497.
  2. ^ a b Epstein, Mikhail; Genis, Alexander; Vladiv-Glover, Slobodanka (2016). Russian Postmodernism: New Perspectives on Post-Soviet Culture. New York: Berghahn Books. p. 186. ISBN 9781782388647.
  3. ^ Epstein, Mikhail (1995). After the Future: The Paradoxes of Postmodernism and Contemporary Russian Culture. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. p. 19. ISBN 0870239732.
  4. ^ Bernard de Montreal

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