Friday, January 10, 2020


Two Children Threatened by a Nightingale
After writing my essay on "Confronting Doomsday," we visited the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL. Included inthe exhibits were art pieces by other leading surrealistic pioneers of the time, including this collage by Max Ernst This collage struck me viscerally! To me, in my gut, it felt like a representation of the end of the world: people fleeing in terror a chaotic and disordered landscape; one person unsuccessfully trying to push a panic button bigger than he was.

It is the perfect companion for my Doomsday  piece!

  After reading up on Max Ernst, I found out it's even more appropriate than I knew at the time. First of all, his whole perception of the world as a regularly ordered, sane place was shattered by being a combat veteran of World War I.

"Those four years of war for Ernst were as if he "died on the 1st of August 1914" and "re- suscitated on the 11th of November 1918 as ayoung man aspiring to become magician and to find the myth of this time”.

Young, angry, outraged and full of enormous pent up energy from the War, Ernst became involved with the one group who could possibly present an outlet for these passions: Dada.
His collages force the exterior real world to confront the hidden reality of the unconsciousTheycreateamultiplicityof associations by giving form to the new reality of dreams and the unconscious as presented byFreud. Ernst has forced the viewer to expand beyond the rational and logical waking world into the world of fantasy, dreams and illusion. By rearranging traditional schemata, placing the familiar image into new and strange context, he forces the observers to retune their old definition of visual reality and to reconcile the exterior and public world with the interior and private world of the unconscious. Ernst stated that the collage is "a meeting of two distant realities on plane foreign to both." Thus, visually Ernst attempted to reconcile the two equal parts of our existence and turn them into new and complete reality."

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