Surrealism Beyond Borders at Tate Modern — realm of dreams and incongruity

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“Anti-Communist Female Soul” (or “Pangonggyohan”) by Byung Young-won (1952) © National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

Half the time in the enthusiasm of the Tate Modern’s huge and vast exhibition Surrealism across bordersAn old soccer joke comes to mind: “Real Madrid, 4 — Surreal Madrid, Fish”.

Tate has achieved many goals by revealing how Surrealism has expanded and transformed from its roots in Paris and has traveled all over the world. However, Surrealism (chaotic, sexy and individualistic) eventually loses the game because it doesn’t work under the rules of today’s postcolonial, gender-neutral museums.

Fish and crustaceans are brilliantly swarming. Salvador Dali’s “Lobster Telephone” meets Sepeda Samdio’s avant-garde Colombian short film “Blue Lobster,” created with the contribution of the magical realist novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The underwater “phantom” floats on the pink seabed by Fernand Léger’s Danish student Rita Khan Larsen. Around the submarine of the superb view “sea” of Harue Koga and the industrial tower towering from the sea, a group of striped sea creatures are swarming. They suggest the overwhelming imagination of Japanese artists — Koga died of mental illness at the age of 38 shortly after finishing the composition.

“Soluble fish” -a metaphor of the mind that melts into the unconscious sea-was a subtitle of Andre Breton’s 1924 “Surrealism Declaration.” The cultural hinterland is the development of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis, what Breton called “irreparable human anxiety,” strengthened by the response to the World War I massacre. rice field. The world of art is urged to look at irrational things, and Tate’s opening guides you to promise discord and dreams.

Surrealist image of a ghostly fish floating on a blue background over a pink seashell-like object

Rita Khan-Larsen’s “Phantom” (1934) © Courtesy the Artists’ Rights Society

Enter the magical wardrobe of Jean Marcel’s “Armoire Surré aliste” and the panel will pop up. Trompe-l’oeil Immerse yourself in Jan Svankmajer’s absurd movie “Byt”, following the nightmare corridor of Dorothea Tanning’s locked doors and the sunflower “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” chasing a quirky girl. increase. Its irregular electronic music that fills the early galleries.

Svankmajer made a film in the spring of Prague. Tate’s main debate is Surrealism as a political force.

There is a wonderful moment of protest — in the painting, the darts segment of Byung Young Won, like the warrior of the “anti-communist female soul” from South Korea in 1952 — but the best The source of Surrealist art is internal and often sexual.

The point here is the “time transfixed” (1938), when the Rene Magritte locomotive, the image of the most famous Surrealism, passes through the fireplace. And even Dali’s strongest political statement, the violent and melting “soft construction with boiled beans (premonition of a civil war)” (1936), is as erotic as fear of Spain. It is rooted. Go out to a huge excellence. .. .. With delirium of automatic strangulation. “

A dreamy image by Rene Magritte, where a steam locomotive emerges from the fireplace in the air.

“Time Transfixed” by Rene Magritte (1938) © The Art Institute of Chicago / Joseph Winturbo Sam Collection.Courtesy ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London

While such works cannot dull our joy, Tate’s political prejudice is doubly unfortunate overall.It inflates the gallery with an excess of matte works selected for geography and gender rather than quality and imposes confusing and inconsistent ones. Mise-en-sceneSometimes curator theory in the war with art.

Thus, Alberto Giacometti’s magnificent and violent sexual “cage” (a prison where sharp teeth and shields fight for oval / human shapes) appears next to the apology (“heterosexual male”. Reflecting their complex desires and their gaze on the female body “), and clearly surrounded by works by photographer Claude Cahun on self-identity, her manifesto” masculine? Feminine? “On the wall. . Contraceptive neutering is always the only gender that suits me. ”

In this black-and-white image, artist Claude Cahun, wearing a checkered jacket, looks in the mirror near her face and stares at the camera.

Self-portrait by Claude Cahun (1928) © Claude Cahun’s estate.Courtesy Jersey Heritage Collection

Blurred Themed Hang-Beyond the Reason, “Alternative Orders”, “Dream Jobs”, “Creepy” You Can Go Anywhere-Clarifying Connections, How The Exercise I can’t even explain if it has evolved. Therefore, the most rewarding sections are small geographically identified mini-exhibitions, “meeting points”, especially non-Western exhibitions.

The discovery in Cairo is an almost abstract photograph by Lee Miller, freed from the influence of Man Ray in Egypt, experimenting with the landscape as an inner and outer world. “Portrait of Space” (1937) looks at the desert near the wrinkles through a torn screen in the tent. This is the image Magritte assigned to his painting “Rubiser”.

Image of large bone marrow and pumpkin that looks like a garden outside a white-walled house
“Cala Bazas con Pan de Muerto” by Maria Izquierdo (1947) © Bridgeman Images / Artists Rights Society / SOMAAP

The revelation in New Mexico is Maria Izquierdo’s luscious tabletop still life “Cala Bazas con Pan de Muerto” (1947). Green squash, candy-divided fat meat, and sugar dough made as a figure are a treat for the Day of the Dead. Izquierdo draws them from below, as if looking up at the altarpiece — like traditional Spanish, conscious of death and celebrating earthly life. Bodegon.. An independent spirit, Izquierdo opposed the heavyweight politics of his teacher Diego Rivera and instead advocated a poetic approach inspired by folk art. She thought she was bright, rustic, and colonial. retablos “A work that is more interesting and surreal than a modern surreal work.”

In Cuba, the towering ghosts of Wifredo Lam in “Eternal Being” (1944) and “Fly Emperor Belial” (1948) turn Picasso’s twisted form into an illusion of darkness. In the Dominican Republic, symphony violinist and Spanish asylum-seeker Eugenio Granel slams local flora and fauna in “The Magical Emblem of Tropical Flight” (1947) and “Pibird’s Night Flight”. Incorporated into the aesthetics of a pointed organic form such as. (1952). Tate’s poster image is this dynamic bird, whose geometric turquoise and blue wings hopefully rise across the black sky.

A disjointed and distorted set of figures consists of a skeleton, a devil's tail, and sharp fork-like claw-like body parts.

“Belial, the Emperor of Flies” by Wifredo Lam (1948) © Artists Rights Society / ADAGP

It is not surprising that visual Surrealism has become the most fruitful in Spanish-speaking countries. Joan Miró — here underestimated by the scandal, there is only one major late canvas — and Dali is its star painter. The distortion and fragmentation of Picasso’s cubism provided a formal component of the movement.

Tate admits Picasso — just: his jagged and ecstatic death ballet, The Three Dancers (1925), hangs between the alcove away from the main exhibition track.Only one other canvas participates in it — “Dream of Tobias” (1917), the eerie sky arched streets, embarrassing shadows, giant stranded fish (again), and “Adel” (Greek). Word) and engraved obelisk combination aidelonInvisible) Giorgio de Chirico, its mysterious metaphysicsIt is the other godfathers of Surrealism who are trying to make the invisible visible. These two are the most memorable paintings in the exhibition. Neither is officially Surrealism, but their inner and fantastic character completely challenges Tate’s socio-political challenges.

The obelisk with the word

Giorgio de Chirico’s “Dream of Tobias” (1917) © Artists Rights Society / SIAE

The agenda also seems to explain some impressive absenteeism.There is no disjointed and dreamy Luis Buñuel Un Chien Andalou Shaped Surrealist filmmaking. No Méret Oppenheim — Are Fur Teacups Too Sexy?

And what to do with an exhibition that focuses on the mistakes of European artists — “While embracing anti-colonial politics, European Surrealism has an affinity with art created by indigenous peoples of Africa, Oceania and the United States. .. .. Surrealism remained involved in the colonial attitude of cultural theft. Nevertheless, Latin American British immigrant Leonora Carrington and his followers said, “Mexico. “A Study of Indigenous Culture” was praised. .. .. These artists have infused surrealism with feminism, magic and the power of nature. “

The show is not the history of Surrealism, but its prejudice reduces the grandeur of the range of movement and the thrill of its violations. Crossing geographical boundaries is enlightening, but stopping at the boundaries of imagination is to silence the beating heart of Surrealism.

February 24th-August 29th tate.org.uk

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