"The Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali
Before we begin with the post, I want you to get the feel of the Surrealist art form. It is a 3 minute interpretive sound composition that will allow you to understand the “essence of Surrealism”, which contains sound effects that will get you feeling funny.
Spaniard Salvador Dali (1904-89) is a great example to characterize surrealism. Surrealism is a “common noun in all languages, denoting an art that is irrational, erotic, mad, and even fashionable.” It is weird, bizarre, and just plain amazing. One of Dali’s most famous work, “The Persistence of Memory”(1931) would have to be one of my favorites from the artist. This trippy painting—where random pocket watches melting on top of rocks and a tree branch—is characterized by the artist’ obsession with the morphology of hard and soft.
The melting watches represent the time being flowing and eternal, whereas the hard rocks are the reality of life and the ocean represents the vastness of the earth. There is an orange clock covered with ants, symbolizing the decay of time or death. The melting strange human figure with big eyelashes in the center could be interpreted, as a formless person we would imagine, while we are in a dreamlike trance.
"The soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time, a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order"
Dali, like most surrealist artist, seems to be under the influence of Freud’s psychoanalysis theory involving the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind. The unconscious mind contains all different types of significant and disturbing material which we aren't aware of it because they are “too threatening to acknowledge fully.”
History of Modern Art byH. H. Arnason and Elizabeth C. Mansfield