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20 FEBRUARY 2010

Jan Svankmajer: Dimensions of Dialogue 1

"Jan Švankmajer has gained a legendary reputation over several decades for his distinctive use of stop–motion technique, and his ability to make surreal, nightmarish and yet somehow funny pictures. He is still making films in Prague to this day. His movies utilise exaggerated sounds & sped–up sequences and often involve inanimate objects being brought to life through stop–motion to perform perverse and often violent acts. While many of Jan Švankmajer's films depict destructive aspects of the human psyche, 'Darkness, Light, Darkness' is a depiction of Man building himself."

(beinArt International Surreal Art Collective/Jon Beinart)



Simon Perkins
05 NOVEMBER 2009

Alexander Calder magically breathed life into inanimate objects

"Alexander Calder magically breathed life into inanimate objects, using wire and recycled materials to create this army of circus characters. Beginning in 1927, Calder performed the Circus in Paris, New York, and elsewhere. He would issue invitations to his guests, who would sit on makeshift bleachers munching peanuts, just like the real circus. With the crash of cymbals and music from an old gramophone, the circus would begin. Many of the individual circus animals and performers include mechanized parts – Calder was originally trained as a mechanical engineer.

It wasn't the tricks or gimmicks of the circus that appealed to Calder, but the dynamic movement of bodies in space. He first went to the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey circus in 1925. He was inspired by the mechanics of the circus and made hundreds of drawings of the equipment and the ropes and the guy wires for the tents. Later in his career, Calder turned his attention to more abstract work. ... He went on to invent the mobile and other works of moving sculpture."

(Adam Weinberg, Whitney Museum of American Art)



19271955ad-hocAlexander Calderanimationart • Barnum & Bailey • bodies in spacecharacterchoreographycircusdrawing • dynamic movement • improvisationinanimate objects • mobile sculpture • motionmovement • moving sculpture • performancepioneerpuppetry • Ringling Brothers • theatreWhitney MuseumWhitney Museum of American Art


Simon Perkins

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