Salvador Dali would have been 112 today. Some are taken from us much too soon.
This min-mini treatise by the surrealist legend was used as an informal introduction to the exhibit “Prague, Paris, Barcelona. Photographic Modernity from 1918 to 1948″ at Barcelona’s Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in July 2010. It was an excellent survey and overview of how the avant garde photography scene in those cities intersected during the overview of the inter-war period of the last century. The exhibit brochure is here.
I often return to the second and last sentences to remind myself of what photography can and should be and try my best to take it to heart. Knowing how to look in order to create something entirely new is especially important now, in an age when we’re drowning in more photos than ever before. And with the majority of those as unimaginative, dull and cliche as never before.
That’s my main takeaway from the works of Dali. I look at them differently now than I did when I was first introduced to him as a teenager.
Then it was with a vivid wild eye, pondering the possibilities that lurked behind the door he helped open. Now, it’s a much more restrained and less exciting view. That’s not to say that I appreciate any less the inventiveness and energy he helped unleash in his attempt to identify the gap between illusion and reality. Indeed, I’m grateful. And delighted to give these words pride of place as the site’s 859th straight Pic du Jour.