Sunday, 14 February 2010

Lecture Four: Dreams

Dreams invade every moment of our waking lives. ‘What precisely is a dream?’ asked the experimental novelist William Burroughs. ‘It is a specific juxtaposition of word and image.’ This connection of word and image to create heightened states of perception has linked modernist and post-modernist strategies from the ‘pure psychic automatism’ of Andre Breton’s First Manifesto of Surrealism to the experimental cinema of David Lynch, Craig Baldwin and Gregg Araki. Examples discussed will include Salvador Dali’s ‘Dream of Venus’ fun house at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, Curtis Harrington’s Night Tide; and the strange tale of Marjorie Cameron, Jack Parsons and Wallace Berman. Art and design practices would be unthinkable without the radical juxtaposition of historical images and contemporary references. When precisely did we stop making sense? And is it safe to get back in the water yet?

Context themes to be covered:language, spectacle, psychology, ethics, narrative

Useful reading and sites worth visiting
Ingrid Schaffner, Salvador Dali’s Dream of Venus: The Surrealist Funhouse From the 1939 World’s Fair, Princeton Architectural Press, 2002
Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, The Monacelli Press, 1994
Celeste Olalquiaga, The Artificial Kingdom: A Treasury of the Kitsch Experience, Bloomsbury, 1999
Andre Breton, First Manifesto of Surrealism (online extract)
Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, Routledge,2006
The Cameron Parsons Foundation
Ferus Gallery
Artopia article on Wallace Berman and Semina

See also:
Catching Up With the Mercado Central
From ‘Dream of Venus’ to ‘Atlantis in Hi-fi’

YouTube clips embedded above:
Billy Rose’s Aquacade, 1939 New York World’s Fair
Night Tide trailer

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