Exhibition The surrealism and the sleep. An invitation to dream. The new proposal of the Thyssen
Exhibition The surrealism and the sleep
An invitation to dream. The new proposal of the Museum Thyssen Bornemisza
Living is to dream. This is the small holder that we were offered by José Jiménez, commissioner of the exhibition, in the presentation of The surrealism and the sleep in the Museum Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid last October 7, 2013. It is a question of the first monographic exhibition dedicated to the surrealism and to the sleep. With a whole of 163 works of the big surrealistic teachers (André Breton, Salvador Dalí, Yves Tanguy, Joan Miró, Paul Delvaux, Marx Ernst or Man Ray) the exhibition proposes a thematic presentation of the plastic approach of the surrealistic artists to the oneiric universe. The gathered works have been transferred by museums, galleries and particular collections of the whole world as the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tate Modern (London), the Museum of Modern Art or Metropolitan Museum (New York), between many others.
Guillermo Solana (the director of the Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza) in its intervention gave the welcome to the assistants to «the republic of the sleep». It is not a habitual exhibition in the rooms of the Thyssen. To organize it it has been necessary to change the "vegetarian" diet to which we were had accustomed by the entity (in allusion to the "green thing", to the impressionistic sceneries personified in the Pissarro cabbages). The surrealism and the sleep Madrid has supposed an organizational effort after the retirement of the patronage of Box. In its moment it was conceived to share two head offices. On having suppressed an area, a nut return has had to happen to the explanatory space of the museum and to locate 163 works in the first floor and the cellar (both habitual rooms in the exhibitions of the head office of Madrid but like individual samples). The origin of this exhibition arose in the circumstance from that the oneiric inspiration had not had a sample. An ambitious project for the variety of the means – painting, collages, sculpture, photo, movies … - and for the gathered artists. Special interest has the presence of eleven women, slightly well-known, that contribute the most important vision to the surrealism. The result is something labyrinthine, sinuous, with small rooms and bends and «some scare» trying to respect the mysterious and enigmatic character of the surrealism.
José Jiménez underlined the character of novelty of the sample as well as the difficulties that it was raising to carry out it (between others it is not clear at all what it is a sleep and what it is not a sleep in the surrealism). Not everything costs. It was necessary to restate which was the plastic dimension of the oneiric materials in the surrealism. Surrealism and the sleep is articulated in a jigsaw puzzle in which all the pieces fit. The surrealism happens for being the first movement considered multimedia. The important thing it is what it is about to represent and not so much the elected way. Jiménez emphasized the essential role of the women artists (Dora Maar, Tamara de Lempicka, Leonora Carrington, Holy Angels or Remedies Varo). The commissioner of the exhibition hopes of the visitor that it should leave to its house with the desire of dreaming. Living is to dream.
The surrealism and the sleep is articulated in eight chapters that organize thematically the plastic materials assembled in the exhibition: 1. Those who opened the routes (of the sleep). They constitute the fundamental precedents, as introduction … 2. I it is different (Changes and metamorphosis of the identity); 3. The infinite conversation (The sleep is the overcoming of Babel: all the languages speak between themselves, all the languages are the same); 4. Beyond the good and the evil (A world where they govern neither the morality nor the reason); 5. Where everything is possible (The omnipotence: everything is possible in the sleep); 6. The sharp sheen of the desire (The Eros drive without the censoring of the conscious life); 7. Sceneries of a different ground (An alternative universe that, nevertheless, is part of the existing thing) and 8. Irresistible disturbances (The nightmare, the anxiety).
«The movies have the power to capture the sleep.»
To see the totality of the works we will have to visit the room of the first floor and continue in the plant cellar, other of the habitual spaces in the head office of Madrid. From the set of works I would like emphasizing a series of works that synthesizes the proper philosophy of the surrealistic movement. A movement that it had like protagonist to the proper unconscious one defined as this region of the intellect where the human being not objetiviza the reality but it joins, melts with her forming everything. And it is in the sleep where the most unlike elements are evident joined by relations that, sometimes, escape to the logic of the wakefulness. The sleep become infested with plastic images, was a privileged inspiration vivarium. To capture this sleep, these powerful images in something tangible without the interfering censora of our conscience will be the target that the surrealists will chase along its life.
A sensual work gives us the welcome, practically, with certain oneiric load, of Henri Rousseau who takes for title A carnival evening (1886). On a dark fund and in front of a few skeletal trees they emphasize two tiny figures of a man and a woman dressed in proper suits of the carnival. The sky is of indigo color, a color associated with the psyche, with a brilliant moon (evocative of the sleep) and a few gray clouds in the low part. In spite of representing a few personages who have to do with the happiness, with the holiday, these personages, to whom scarcely we can see the faces do not transmit this sensation to us. The whole scene has a mysterious air.
In the second chapter he emphasizes from powerful form the savior's work Dalí, The invisible man (1929 – 1932). Unfinished work that constitutes the first linen where Dalí tries to create an image with double meaning. The artist was considering the invisible Man to be a fetish paranoiac who was protecting so much him as to Gala. In this picture there appear already different elements that will recur in some of the most emblematic works of Dalí. Also they stand out in this paragraph one work of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, Confessions without value, Plate I (1929 – 1930) that takes as an essential part the human eye (motive that attracted the surrealists); and other one of Holy Angels (Soul that flees of a sleep – 1930). The latter work has these touches of magic realism, where the person seems to be unfolded in its flight of the reality towards the oneiric world (or: is it from the sleep to the reality?) and that inaugurates its surrealistic stage.
In the third paragraph they emphasize significant works. Between them, that of another surrealistic woman, Leonora Carrington (The temple of the word, 1954); or of René Magritte (The key of the sleep, 1952, The art of the conversation, 1963). The latter work stands out for its simplicity. Two men seem to be conversing, as if they were levitando on a way that is to its feet. Insignificant, tiny like two flies in a picture. Around him the clouds, the air, the weightlessness. Another showy work is of Miró, Photo: this is a color of my sleep (1925). With scarcely a few letters and a spot of color, the linen turns into a poem. A clear simplicity but that it has passed to multiple interpretations, some of which has to do with a cosmological aspect.
In the following paragraph we can contemplate one of the most representative works not only of the surrealism but of the production of Salvador Dalí. Work of resounding title talks each other of a sugerente: Sleep caused by the flight of a bee about a grenade a second before the awakening (1944). For some critics this painting has wanted to be interpreted as an allusion to the Theory of the human Evolution. The long title of the picture grants to the same one a clear intention of psychoanalytic character. Also we can enjoy the contemplation of The honey it is more sweet than the blood (1941).
In the fifth paragraph they stand out: The asleep Venus (1944) acts of big size of Paul Delvaux and Seeing is to believe (1937) of Roland Penrose, there fitted also acquaintance as The invisible island.
In the sixth paragraph they emphasize a nourished group of works. Dalí, Guillermo Tell y Gradiva (1932); Óscar Domínguez, The levels of the desire (1932 – 1933). Dora Maar has a few sugerentes and sensual photos with the title Legs I and II (1935). An oil (I come up for that it is not so well-known) of Man Ray, Pisces, The woman and its fish (1938) and, finally a work of Remedies Varo, stellar Mush (1958).
We come to the penultimate paragraph with another half a dozen of works. It did not know the work of the American surrealistic artist Kay Sage (1868 - 1963) and I have surprised it very pleasantly. An artist who traveled up to Europe settling in the outskirts of Rome. For its status aristocratic in the first moment it was not well got enter the surrealistic artists. But, little by little, and of the hand of Yves Tanguy (that turned into its second husband). Perhaps the shade of its husband harmed its own artistic career. In the exhibition they are present several of its works emphasizing Margin of silence (1942) or The hidden letter (1943) in which the influence is evident of Of Chirico. Next to you there finds The geometer of the sleep (1935) work of its husband, Yves Tanguy.
The chapter eight we can find two works of Dalí that are projects for the movie He remembers of Alfred Hitchcock (it is possible to see in images in a small cubicle enabled for the projection of these images). An example of disturbance is the titled work of André Masson En the tower of the sleep (1938). A linen that waves the mind of the spectator. Outsiders' full house you appear and objects. Masson supports a few pictorial theories in which the intuition and the suspicious attention to the weak one was basic in the creative process.
The proposal of trip that they do to us from the institution implies investing a little more of the time of the habitual one for this type of exhibitions, since during the trip we can enjoy seven multimedia facilities (projection of an audio-visual one) and the contemplation of 163 works distributed in two independent spaces (inside the proper museum). It is necessary to remember that the movies supposed for these artists a way of fundamental expression since it helps the spectator to allow to demolish its imagination. The video - facilities suggested there are a few proposals of the commissioner, specific or brief fragments shorts.
In the dark room the meeting was taking place with the unusual thing, with the wonderful thing, without there being no previous predetermination, not consciously. It was, properly, the ambience of the sleep with the open eyes, looking at the big screen. In a clear allusion, Breton (1953, 267) comes to Rimbaud to affirm that it is in the movies rooms «where the only absolutely modern mystery is celebrated».
Commissioner. Catalog exhibition (page 51)
At the entry it is convenient to leave in the foyer such concepts like irrational, rational and to bear very in mind others like the unconscious one or the creativity to penetrate into an oneiric world full of fantasies. Also it is necessary to bear in mind that the surrealists developed all its activities in an entreguerras world. They had helped, most of them being children, to the disasters of the Big War (the World War I) and the concept that they had of the world it was mediatizado for this drama. The world was not perfect and they believed that with its art, its creation, they could change the prevailing rules into the society of the first half of the XXth century. The surrealism not only was a pictorial current but it was constituted in an attitude before the life, a way of being, of expressing the interior feelings.
The surrealism transmits an intense affirmation of the freedom, the hope of a human life of plenitude, the utopia of a mind proprietor of all its possibilities. In this sense, the surrealistic invocation of the sleep must be understood, first of all, like the declaration of a riot against the "realistic" acceptance of a world «bad fact», against an attitude of given up acceptance of the pain and the suffering. The surrealistic invocation of the sleep transmits a utopia of full liberation of the mind, the sleep of the freedom without limits.
Commissioner. Catalog exhibition (page 50)
Living is to dream. As José Jiménez shows in its introductory study «the sleep as a unitary ambience of human experience». We all dream. And dreaming is a freedom. And there takes root the nobility of this «another half» of our lives. We can imagine / dream in that we live in a better world. What after the visit to The surrealism and the sleep is going to change the world and to the exit of the exhibition we are going to be in a better world? No. Insurance that not. But they invite us to dream and to that we forget, for a moment, the daily penuries.
From October 23 until December 11, 2013, there has been organized a monographic course in which diverse aspects of the surrealism will be tackled considering it to be more a vital attitude than an artistic movement. Throughout eight weeks experts and university teachers will relate it to the movies, the photo or the philosophy and will study in depth the figure of Dalí or the role that the women played inside this current. Between the speakers there will be Guillermo Solana, artistic director of the Museum, Montse Aguer, director of the Center of Studies Dalinianos de la Fundació Gala - savior Dalí, Olive Maria Rubio, artistic director of The Factory, Román Gubern, professor of the Autonomous University of Barcelona or proper José Jiménez, the director of the course. The conferences will take place every Wednesday at 17.30 hours in the Assembly room.
The surrealism and the sleep also is provided with a cycle of movies, which will develop along the whole exhibition, the weekends from October 12, 2013 until January 12, 2014, which has been programmed in addition to all the movies which fragments are projected in video - facilities in the rooms, other qualifications linked to the surrealism as There Remembers (1945) of Alfred Hitchcock, Giulietta of the spirits (1965) of Federico Fellini, blue Velvet (1986) of David Lynch or It dawns, that there is not small (1988), the last one presented by its director, José Luis Cuerda.
Filed file: Exhibitions
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