I’ve been thumbing through books on Dada and Surrealism and popped by the Surrealism Beyond Borders exhibition at Tate Modern again yesterday.
The Week of Happiness 1934 was a good year for Max Ernst.
The exhibit below did nothing for me on first glance – till a friend informed me that Joseph Cornell went around New York collecting everyday objects and found ways to make people feel differently about them.
Which still didn’t get me going.
But then I saw the caption.
Giuditta Pasta, to whom it is dedicated, was a Jewish Italian opera singer who was a very close friend of Vincenzo Bellini who composed Norma and Sonnambula.
My close friend, the late Helena Shenel, often told me that she was a reincarnation of Giuditta Pasta.
Helena found out about this while engaging in automatic writing – a surrealist spiritual activity.
Helena was writing as Bellini and interpreted the letter s/he produced as being addressed to herself – Giuditta Pasta.
Of course this is not the sort of thing one can talk about in rational polite circles – but I believe it to be true.
Seeing Sarah Siddons on Wednesday at Dulwich Picture Gallery also tells me that something surreal is in the air.
The moon was incredibly full last night as I walked home. I am grateful for all that is occuring in the universe.
Before frequenting the exhibition I had no idea how political surrealist movements of the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s were.
I now see them as comments on power, science and spirituality as well as satirical expressions about what does and does not comply with social norms.
We noticed Nina Simone in the Ted Joans video taken at the Algiers Music festival from 1969. She’s not in these pictures but she was there.
Obviously I thought of Sun Ra and particularly Space is the Place.
Lemm Sissay was with the XR crew outside. He is obviously a great man – but we didn’t stick around for his poems. I can’t stand XR. But as I embrace hypocrisy in all its forms I really should learn to go easier on them.
Nice to see the Gunpowder Conference Centre just off Fleet Street High Holborn, in case you are wondering how Britain makes its cash.
I didn’t take this photo of John Wilkes – credit for that has to go to a nameless friend.
Another one of yours truly. One of us is reputed to have been the ugliest man in England. Wilkes changed the way Parliament did business. He was a big transparency campaigner and womaniser who eventually switched sides and put down rioters while working for the Bank of England. One has to pay the bills.
I once got grief for referring to Andrew Bailey, current Governor of the Bank of England, as the biggest criminal in London.
I stick by that, but wonder if he too will have something erected in his name.
For services to the oligarchy.
It was good to see the statues of Fox and Bedford in Bloomsbury and Russell Square.
I recently picked up some books about London statues and read about those two in particular. Fox liked to gamble so on hearing he was to be married his father reputedly said that at least his son would go to bed once. Lucky girl.
When Bedford moaned about the farming subsidies a rival had been granted it was pointed out to him that nobody received nearly as much subsidy as himself. Given the immediate food shortages this country faces Bedford’s attitude is worth bearing in mind.
As the Duke of Westminster once said on being asked how he managed to get so wealthy in business, be sure one of your antecedents was on good terms with William the Conqueror.
Rupert has sent Roman a memo.