Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Teatre-Museu Dalí

While in Barcelona, my parents and I headed to the tiny town of Figueres for the day. The reason for this excursion was to visit the Teatre-Museu Dalí, a kind of pilgrimage for the three of us, considering the importance that Dali has had to our lives. It has been something we've been talking about doing for such a long time, and it certainly did not disappoint. Just walking up to the museum was an impressive sight, with the giant egg-like structures dotting the roof of the building.

The museum is in Dali's hometown and is constructed around the theatre that he attended as a child, which is also the same building he held his very first exhibition in. It was largely destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, but in 1960, Dali and the mayor of Figueres got together and decided to make it a museum in dedication to the town's most famous son. It's typical egocentric Dali, I suppose, but standing there in this gorgeous building, it was obvious that so much thought went into how Dali wanted the theatre to be transformed and his work to be viewed. When you set aside the commercialism of Dali's work, I think that he's actually a difficult artist to fully appreciate. The photograph below is of the central room of the building, where the stage was in the original theatre. Consider the detail about it as dictated by the book about Teatre-Museu Dalí:

"Overlooking the stage, the massive backdrop produced in oil that Dali designed for the ballet Labyrinth, based on the myth of Theseus and Ariadne, which premiered in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on the 8th of October 1941. This space reveals the most scenographic aspect of Dali: with the enormous composition, where a bust appears with an opening in the breast, from behind which emerges a phantasmagoric landscape with Böcklinian cypress trees from The Isle of the Dead. The rocks, sinking into the sea, are a reference to the scenery of Cap de Creus, which the artist repeatedly turned to in his work. In front, on the stage itself, is an extremely discretely placed tombstone, reminding us that this is where the artist is buried, in the radial centre of his own Theatre-Museum." There are a couple of other photographs of the museum in my Barcelona Flickr set.

No comments: