ARTYFACTS: The Surreal House – The Barbican

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Surreal House – The Barbican

Always a bit of a hoot walking round a Dadaist or Surrealist show, as the Dadaists, especially, were anti-art, and hated the sort of conventions that gallery curators adhere to. These ‘shows’ should really reflect the work, with at least some attempt at anarchy and disruption. Instead, we get solemn environments, carefully lit to exude ‘seriousness’ and audiences guided through like the walking dead. It’s all so humourless. Give me Cabaret Voltaire, a little dangerous performance art or at least a laugh. The Dadaists and Surrealists would have swept through this ‘exhibition’ pissing on most of it, tearing it apart and cursing their legacy.

One bright spot was the tiny cinema, where we sat and watched Tati’s Mon Oncle. This is one strange film, with a messy soundtrack and anti-modernist sentiment. It’s only now that it seems surreal.


Anonymous Garry Platt said...

Ahhhh Jaque Tati – Now were talking, Tati is for me the greatest film director of the 20th Century. As breath taking as that statement might seem his body of work consisting of only 8 pieces but contains some truly astonishing work with attention to detail of exquisite proportions. His observations and view of the modern world contrasted against human predilections and needs produces both tear jerking scenes but also a savage and funny critique of modern life.

If you think Mon Oncle is anti modernist have you seen Playtime? The whole slew of modern culture is examined and exposed for being both ludicrous and inhuman. My collection of Tati’s entire film works in DVD are a constant source of both amusement and inspiration.

2:44 pm  

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