New Tate film series 6. Unlock Art: Exploring The Surreal

Exploring The Surreal is the latest film in Tate’s Unlock Art Series, supported by Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. The film, which is presented by the latest Dr Who actor, Peter Capaldi, offers a whistle-stop tour of Surrealism: from its inception, manifesto, key players, to important works.

Dr. Who. Film still from Unlock Art: Exploring the Surreal © Tate Films

Dr. Who. Film still from Unlock Art: Exploring the Surreal © Tate Films

The film explores Surrealism’s links with psychoanalysis and Freud’s notion of the unconscious mind. There is a glut of examples from Salvador Dalí to Meret Oppenheim to Max Ernst to Joan Miró, and the movement’s influence in other cultural spheres is also demonstrated.

Salvador Dalì. Film still from Unlock Art: Exploring the Surreal © Tate Films

Salvador Dalì. Film still from Unlock Art: Exploring the Surreal © Tate Films

Like other films in the series, Exploring the Surreal is fronted by a presenter that is well known in contemporary culture. Other presenters have included Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince from The Kills, comedian Frank Skinner and Alan Cumming. Nearly all the presenters have some connection with art: Peter Capaldi and Jemima Kirke studied art, whilst others presenters’ particular line of work have a synergy with the movement or idea presented e.g. The Kills discussing double acts in art. This adds greatly to the credibility and engagement and, of course, helps widen appeal of the series.

Meret Oppenheim. Film still from Unlock Art: Exploring the Surreal © Tate Films

Meret Oppenheim. Film still from Unlock Art: Exploring the Surreal © Tate Films

Many films about art movements tend to either canonise and obfuscate, or dumb down the complex ideas and sophisticated thinking behind the work. The Unlock Art Series manages to avoid this by including need-to-know facts presented in a wry humorous style aided with entertaining graphics. It’s a format that works well for these bite-size films; initiating the novice and thereby fulfilling the series’ ambition of increasing art’s appeal to a wider audience, as well as serving as a reminder to the connoisseur – after all, no art lover, however extensive their knowledge, ever gets tired of looking at great art.

To view the film, click on the link http://youtu.be/uPD6okhfGzs

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by Gowri Balasegaram
in Focus on Europe

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