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Surrealism was concerned with the unconscious, with dreams, with personal and political liberation, socially, sexually, psychologically. While it is possible to dream strange, swirling, madcap forms of liberating architecture, it is difficult, if not impossible, to realise such forms in the waking day, which is why, most arts which bring out this surrealism are in film and paintings; but this isn’t to say that there isn’t any surreal architecture, quite the contrary.
Surrealism in film __________________________________Salvador Dali – Un chien andolou
This is one of the greater surrealist films – where he creates surrealist spaces – spaces one would not normally imagine - They play tricks on the human mind, using sounds, spaces, perspectives, characters; all to create a seemingly dreamlike world. However, it is perhaps the fact that this surreal world is actually based on the real world is what makes the film even more surreal – in other films, for example the one he did with Walt Disney – the film is clearly set in an imaginary world. However, Un Chien Andolou – Is the world real or not? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU_f2vqEgGM - plays tricks on perspectives, sounds, spaces. He creates a surrealist environment, seemingly based in a dream-like world. Marienbath is another surrealist film add
Surrealism in Architecture.
Le Corbusier One of the high points of "surrealist architecture" was a Paris flat designed in 1930 for the wealthy art collector Charles de Beistegui; it was designed by none other than Le Corbusier, he of the famous dictum "the house is a machine for living in". Although the apartment is mostly what you would expect of Le Corbusier, it featured a surrealist roof garden complete with a false fireplace, incongruous living-room furniture and a mirror. The "carpet" of this living room was a lawn, and the Eiffel Tower popped up over the parapet. Surrealism is the key to late works of Le Corbusier. Most notable of all is the Chapel at Ronchamp, France, 1950-1954 – also known as Notre Dame du Haut.
with Jean Cocteau sconces in the form of human arms reaching out from the wall. stone by stone. and papier-mache versions of Victorian chairs. Ashcombe. Dalí furniture and screaming colours. Characteristics of the chapel: • Simple • Oblong nave • 2 side entrances • Axial main altar and 3 chapels beneath towers • Sited atop a hillside with access from the south • Immensely powerful and complex • Visual impact was what counted most to Le Corbusier • Undulating forms – can be seen as a giant female with her face turend towards is in the hooded tower Cecil Beaton decorated the top floor of his Wiltshire country house. Ferdinand Cheval. who built a dream-like structure with his own hands. breathing wall. Champion of surrealism Edward James did his colourful thing at Monkton House. his West Sussex hunting lodge. Cheval made his come true . best of all in the sets by Christian Berard for Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête Some of the greatest work of surreal architecture wasn't actually by a card-carrying surrealist but by a French rural postman.Architecture and film – Surrealism Lecture 5 11 MAY This is a more extreme statement. Yet perhaps the best surrealist architecture was in films. with its dog-print stair-carpet. While surrealists pontificated and analysed their dreams in Freudian terms.
As if to prove just how hard it is to realise surreal architecture (and this is about as surreal as it gets). How Wagnerian. and quite surreal. many of the great surreal moments architecture has to offer were created without the help of the surrealists.Architecture and film – Surrealism Lecture 5 11 MAY Of course. Washington. clouds would form from their breath in the underside of the dome.looks like a Fender Stratocaster guitar seen through Dalí's eyes. How surreal. Palais Idéal . this museum of music history . It is beautiful to watch. Herbert Muschamps said it was like "something that crawled out of the sea. the roofscape. is something like a floppy Dalí wristwatch. and died". rolled over. When US structural engineers investigated the enormous domed hall Albert Speer had designed for Germania (as Berlin rebuilt for Hitler. and a light rain would fall. Crawled out of the sea? The surrealists would have loved that. 1 Experience Music Project From the air. post-victory. this Frank Gehry design. Distorted and bent. Witness what happens when rain falls through the great "oculus" in the dome of the Pantheon in Rome: it disappears into a great decorative brass drain. they found that. too. co-founder of Microsoft and collector of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia . when the building was full of chanting crowds. was to be called). has not gone down well with US critics. in Seattle.set up by Paul Allen.
wood. womb-like house on stilts. he made dreamlike sketches of fantastic buildings that owe nothing to conventional architectural logic or to constraints imposed by existing materials.yet worked on in intriguing drawings until the architect's death in 1965. was designed to test Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. with sand. with coloured lenses and mirrors bringing light into organically shaped rooms. Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953) was the architect. grass and tile floors. This was Frederick Kiesler's 1959 vision of the Endless House. Surrealist Architecture . A telescope in the observatory caught cosmic rays that were reflected by mirrors to the "spectrographic" equipment in the basement. Fascinated by the cosmos. without help. Poorly educated and with no knowledge of architecture. The architect. said he designed the tower out of some unknown urge emanating from "the mystique around Einstein's universe". Palestine and the US. with bathing pools instead of baths. pebble. this curious. who worked in Britain.it was far too surreal for that . Germany. boot-like building in Potsdam.Architecture and film – Surrealism Lecture 5 11 MAY A village postman from the remote Drome province of southern France. never built . he shaped his surreal palace from daydreams. with curved walls indistinguishable from floors and ceilings. It remains a house of endless speculation and possibilities. Einstein Tower Opened in 1924. Endless House Imagine a voluptuously shaped. Ferdinand Cheval (1836-1924) spent 33 years creating an "ideal palace" from stones gathered on his daily 32km round.
that hangs in the Kunstmuseum. If this could be built. cost aside. Basle. But perhaps it makes its point perfectly well: surrealist architecture cannot really exist. with some fried eggs emerging from the top. 10 Scottish Parliament building This great and controversial Edinburgh masterwork by Enric Miralles (1955-2000) is nothing like a conventional parliament building. c1932.Architecture and film – Surrealism Lecture 5 11 MAY This is the name of a painting by Dalí. it's beyond reality. you may well ask. Scots will say the only thing surreal about the building is its mind-blowing price. They deserve a concrete box. it would be a lot more interesting than most contemporary "iconic" architecture. it boasts shades of Gaudí and his contemporary Josep Maria Jujol. hopelessly over-budget. What's it got to do with architecture. . a typical Dalí swirling thing. So it could look like this. so many people were suspicious and unkind about the design. and there are plenty of detractors hoping for leaks and other flaws. No wonder. overtones of Russian constructivism. and hints of something else altogether: a tendril-like architecture that snakes from townscape to landscape.
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