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When man resolved to imitate walking, he invented the wheel, which does not look like a leg. In doing this, he was practicing surrealism without knowing it… After all, a stage doesn’t represent life more than a wheel does a leg.
From January 31, until April 21 the exhibition Man Ray. Dreamy objects will be on display in the Canal Foundation. This exhibition invites us to make a journey into the artist’s world through the contemplation of his work. A reality that lives in between the cosmogony of his dreams, takes shelter in the universe of his desires, and has its roots in the land of his memories.
His pictures, dreamy objects, rayographs, poetic machines, and projections will work as guides for us as we get into the world of Emmanuel Radnitzky (Philadelphia, 1890 – Paris, 1976), one of the renewing artist of contemporary art, amongst his peers and friends Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, or André Bretón.
Man Ray, A Reality that Outdoes Itself, Surrealism
The term comes from the french: surréalisme; sur, over or above, plus réalisme, realism. It was coined by french writer Guillaume Apollinaire, en 1917.
It’s a transformative movement; of poetry, graphic art, plastics, photography, and cinematography; generated at the same time as the psychoanalytic theories so as to give entity and presence to a notion of reality that accompanies us in the unconscious.
“Objects of my Affection”
When Man Ray talked about his work, he said: “I paint what I can’t photograph and photograph what I can’t paint. I paint the invisible, photograph the visible.” With his vision and pictures he composes poems, portraying his concerns in the image, and using this mean to express the most profound essence of human psychology. He uses the photographic camera as a means of creation, eliminating the conscious control and seeking for the unconscious to take over the creative process.
Surrealism adds the object into the field of sculpture, endowing it of symbolic meaning, in a way similar to poetic creation. Objects are chosen by the artist because of their emotional and unconscious strength; this way, when they get interposed and associate with other objects in the composition, they lose their initial function and are elevated to the category of work of art. The artist named this objects “objets de mon affection” (objects of my affection) because of their symbolic character, and he expressed through them his inner world.
Man Ray created something new out of a composition of objects, not unlike the style of a poetic metaphor, which makes it different from the ready-made of Marcel Duchamp who takes industrial objects and elevates them to the category of work of art.
My favorite object from Man Ray is the gigantic metronome that’s in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the Indestructible Object, a timeless poetic machine, that lives on and keeps drawing both interest and looks, inviting to the displacing of the self.
The Object of my Dream, a Deaf Yell
I have a proposition this week: with a poetic attitude, searching for what is over the apparent usefulness, we need to look between the seams and select in our surroundings (home, work…) the objects of our affection. We must Photograph them, place a museum label below them, frame them, point them out, and reunite them in an exhibition, ideally an exhibition that’s both digital and of the mind. I’ve done it with my headphones, full of noise.
Exhibition: Man Ray. Dreamy objects, in Canal Foundation, from January 31 to April 21.
Photography: Oscar Rivilla
Music: Dr. Symptosizer
Hair and makeup: Jose Sande
Art director: Carolina Verd
Main and second picture: corset and watering can by Alfredo Velasco
Picture 3: fencing mask by Alfredo Velasco; dress by Balenciaga
Picture 4: furry short jacket by Liujo, courtesy of Finally Press