Too Slippery for Words

Thursday 27 August 2009

I went to the big Salvador Dali exhibition at the gallery last night, which was pretty interesting. Some of his stuff was brilliant, or funny, or way too deep and subjective to know what the hell he was talking about without a long explanation. Some was beautiful and scary all at once. Just how I like it. I didn't realise that Dali was involved in film, in jewellery making even. He sure had his finger in a lot of different pies.

I see Dali was fascinated with and devoured Freud's Interpretation of Dreams. I'm still pissed off at Freud for some of his stupider ideas about women, but I guess if you're gonna wait to read someone you agree 100 per cent with, you're gonna be waiting a long time. We all deserve our stupidities and our neroses. I do think I shall have to turn my eyes on Mr Freud for a while, even though I'm far more enamoured with his nutjob protege, Mr Jung.

Dreamscape territory fascinates me more and more these days. I keep dreaming about little children, boy children. Twice in the past week I have dreamt of scooping them up and holding them close. One was a boy I came upon whose feet were covered in poo. Yum!! I cleaned them off with a box of wipes sitting handy before I allowed that one to sit on my knee. I don't believe these dreams are about wish fulfilment as much as they are about my soul, the little boy part of my soul. That sounds a bit wanky, right, haha. I guess this inner terrain, the private inner terrain, is as delicious and fascinating to me, cavernous and mysterious and yet as closely held as ... well, myself, duh - as it is probably boring to you. Hooray for that. I think it's called the boundary at which you do not have anything to write about that is for other people's eyes :)

The gallery was packed. Which pissed me off. I'm not good with crowds, really. Having to stand there and wait while people take ages looking at something that I end up not being interested in and move on after 10 seconds, agggh. I ended up just weaving in and out of people, trying to pretend I was made of smoke.

What strikes me about large exhibitions in art galleries where people go to look at what has been generally labelled by the culture as Art, is how solemn and serious people are. It's just art, you know? It's great and it's important but it's not like you're going into a cathedral. You shouldn't be solemn going into a cathedral either. It's just art that someone like you made. The fact it's hanging on a wall doesn't change that.

Been thinking how interesting a phenomenon it is that the more individualistic a group of people believe themselves to be, the more they end up seeming the same. I would say most of us in our current culture are individualistic to the point of narcissism but it's not often that I see outward public personal expressions, where you see the spirit of someone pouring out something uncontainable. You know those times when you see things or experience things that touch you so deeply, it's like they ping something in your soul and you have to sigh it out into the air, exclaim, comment? I don't see much of that sort of stuff in public, not even in an art gallery. So weird that in a culture where we're all so individualistic and narcissistic there is something that restrains people from being themselves.

Weird, huh? I think there are deep reasons for that, and that Rene Girard would have a lot to say about that sort of thing. Unfortunately, I'm finding that the things that fascinate me the most lately are the things that I cannot easily at all translate out into writing, like some of the thoughts of Girard I'm coming across. Some things are just too swirly and internal to slap letters on them and string them out into sentences, aren't they? Which is cool and mysterious and how it should be :)


  1. when words are not enough, or too limiting, images bridge the gap

    ps: so green you got to see that expo!

  2. Were there some of his most famous works at the exhibit? While he was a master draftsman and an avid seeker of attention, the most famous Surrealist, I don't recall many of my dreams, so his vision is less appealing to me than that of the Abstract Expressionists. Nevertheless, he is a great deal of fun. What's not to like in that?

  3. Kel - you are so right. It is nice to switch off the brain and let all the words flow away down the drain for a certain period of time, isn't it. You are right about this, even though image-making still feels like a second language being learned when I compare it to intellectual and contemplative thinking. Yet they are so linked.

    Barbara - Well, I am not very familiar with Dali's work, but we couldn't find the famous one - what's it called? Hang on while I Google ... The Persistence of Memory, but the Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory was there, along with Atomic Spheres. Those were the two that were most famous that I instantly recognised. There was a great deal of fun in his work, and also a lot of attention to the darker side of things. Yummy :)

  4. I'm green with envy as well cuz I was a huge fan of his work and wide ranging talent. I'd love to see a show like that one day.

  5. Norm - well, sending you a blessing - may a Dali exhibition fling itself into your world sometime soon :)

    PS Still haven't listened to that Cohen interview yet. I am running behind

  6. Whenever you get around to it I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

    Way back in the day I bought a limited edition of Dali's catalogue of work - can't recall the title as I always referred to it as his 'Gold' book. Must dig around for it and have a gander. He was a brilliant painter ( and a whacked personality).


Newer Older