Friday, August 12, 2011

" Magritte: Surrealism By The Mersey"

The colour of the Mersey was absolutely right for the occassion last Wednesday: almost black at times, as grey as the darkest of doves.
And it churned with a desperate kind of anger.... its waves repeating...and repeating.....and repeating ( like the very work of Magritte himself ) ...repeating its woes, its triumphs, its stories.... and all this beneath a deep navy sky.... echoing with sombre slowmoving dreamlike clouds....drifting like porpoises in sullen gathering darkness...... surreal weather for an August day.

AND they were there in the water and sky: the colours Magritte would choose...the images he'd make, glimpsed through each window we passed as we viewed this exhibition in Liverpool's Tate. The setting could not have been more perfect...

The exhibition is called The Pleasure Principle*. I'm not sure about this. Pleasure seems far from Magritte. The title must have its tongue in its cheek??( WHAT would he do with THAT image??) Maybe we missed the point.

Magritte's figures are silent, solitary ones. His objects are frequently cut to their quick ....(and they're like the waves, repeating+repeating+repeating) ..but there's a humour, a weird quite unhealthy one..that shakes and rattles and rolls, that makes your spine shivery, your thoughts silent.....
AND yes, there's seduction and there's depravity behind curtains...literally: you'll see if you go....and many terrors of a brutal human night are turned into a human comedy...

THIS EXHIBITION: Comedian Noel Fielding (The Mighty Boosh) says its full of one liners...I suppose with its apples, bowler hats, with the sudden staccato shock of a lush pink rose...Fielding says it's a source for a surreal comedy show. And he's right.
And Terry Gilliam ( wonderful ex Python!) says people walked round in a religious state of awe...but HE got the joke..and he walked round, laughing uncontrollably...

BUT I'm not sure. It was unsettling. Its humour was mirthless...if that can be said. BUT I stared at my favourite ( "The Night Owl" ) and I saw not only the humour in the lamppost (planted solemnly in the livingroom) ....but also the strangeness in encroaching darkness, and most of all, the pain of this guy's awful human universal loneliness..

BUT I'm not sure. But go. It's at L'pool Tate until Oct 16th.
* Freudian term, I believe.

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Blogger Debs Carr said...

I wish I could go, it sounds fascinating.

1:41 pm  
Blogger Fennie said...

Reeny Margritty as some scousers might dub him, forever to be confused with Piers Brosnan and another René, Rene Russo whose red hair appeals more than a green apple. Isn't he one of those few famous Belgians, like Simenon and Poirot and that Artois woman: Stella, I think her name was. There must be others and I think it so unfair that if you were famous before about 1830 you couldn't be Belgian even if you tried. Still it always was a surreal sort of a place (and still is at times), forever dammned by that Limerick - you know the one that begins:

There was a young lady from Joppa,
Who came a society cropper
She went to Ostend with a gentleman friend
And the rest of the story's improper.

No doubt the sea that day was as grey and churning, cold, wet and awful as the Mersey, my least favourite river in all England. Someone should tip a few apples into it perhaps.

11:13 am  
Blogger Jan said...

It was!
Hope you're enjoying this summer???) Monday...

Brilliant comments Fennie and really enjoyed it.
And you may be interested to know my mother went to Belgium yrs and yrs ago.... and I have a treasured drawing of her done by a Belgian streeet artist..
Not sure if it was Ostend though...

3:52 pm  

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