JG Ballard on Dali

02007-05-26 | Art | 4 comments

JG Ballard on Dali and film | Guardian Unlimited Arts
Salvador Dalí was the last of the great cultural outlaws, and probably the last genius to visit our cheap and gaudy planet.

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  1. Boris

    Gaudy planet?! Checked the vocabulary but to me it’s also a nice reference to that other guy from Catalunya …

  2. Will

    A very interesting article. While I don’t agree with everything he says, two things stuck out in the article.

    “Put on a surrealism show and the crowds flock, quietly absorbing these strange and irrational images. It’s as if people realise that reason and rationality no longer provide an adequate explanation for the world we live in. The lights may still be on, but a new Dark Age is drawing us towards its shadows, and we turn to the surrealists as our best guides to the underworld.”

    Art has always helped society understand their purpose, where that stood, and the life around them. Surrealism is a sort of “clarity through confusion”. If reason and rationality no longer provide explanation, maybe this “clarity through confusion” is the answer as he is saying. Or maybe 21st century Art no longer represents our life. Maybe it is a little of both.

    “We no longer live in a literary culture, and the human eye has been fine-tuned by a half-century of film and television. Dalí’s paintings, with their distant horizon lines, pseudo-Renaissance perspectives and mentalised stage-sets, are naturals for the age of the plasma TV screen. Our attention spans have shrunk to a single film-frame, and when we look at a Dalí painting we can instantly construct the rest of the movie from the key frame that he offers us”

    I agree with this whole heartedly, although it makes me sad because not only has literature gone the by the wayside so has the oral story, patience, self-exploration and many other things that take more than “one frame” to explain or realize. Our “one frame” technology is unavoidable, but we must be able to balance our mind.

  3. canton

    I gotta nudge my dad — he’s got some audio recordings he made when he was with a film crew interviewing Dali in new york. Never before heard footage; have been meaning to share it…

  4. ottmar

    Canton – I would love to hear that!


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