Sunday, August 01, 2010

Surreal House & the Third Manifesto

For surrealists and people who love them, the Barbican's Surreal House is an exhibition you wouldn't want to miss. The exhibition is a collage of artists, filmmakers, architects and last but not the least Freud. It allows one to move around and pick and choose and relish what one desires from a buffet of anarchy, dreamscapes, metaphysics, sub conscious and pianos that hang upside down from ceilings making eerie sounds. Few rooms play short movies by the surrealists and people randomly stop by to peep in, look, maybe sit through the entire film (I couldn't help but sit through Jean Cocteau's very beautiful film La Belle et la Bete), or just leave half ways.

(one of the scenes from the movie Beauty and the Beast by Jean Cocteau)
For me personally the exhibition as well as the work displayed being able to allow the fractured pick-and-choose-help-yourself experience was very nice and only enhanced the nature of work for me. The focus stayed on the playfulness of the work as people genuinely seemed to smile, laugh and enjoy the films, sculptures and images.

(Tim Noble & Sue Websters scuplture "Metal fucking Rats" sourced from here is also a part of the show and one of my favourites)
If you are around and believe in Andre Breton and his deranged friends or just simply love Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Rene Magritte, Alberto Giacometti, Man Ray, Joseph Cornell or Louise Bourgeois then this exhibition is worth a visit, who knows you might be one of the fortunate few to come across some old pages from the draft of the third manifesto somewhere out there in the surreal house planted by one of the many living hopes that we may learn to dream again.
Talking of dreams, I wonder what Inception would had been, had the surrealist made it? With sleek, polished clear dreams corroded by Freudian psychoanalysis, where Joseph Cornellian objects in boxes retrieve different memories for different individuals sitting in the audience, where cities fold on itself but also cut, paste and form collages of resistance and revolt, with the audience contributing their own dreams to a narrative that unfolds like an exquisite corpse and the movie ending differently for different sittings, like Giacommetti's sculptures, Max Ernst's paintings and many other artifacts from the third manifesto. Now, that would be a good movie!

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