Adventure-a-Day/ Spain

Dalí! Amazing Museum: Adventure-a-Day #20

The Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain, is “the largest Surrealist object in the world.” I would add,  it’s not a museum, not a theatre, but an immersion.

Three giant eggs on top of the roof of a red tower with gold spots against the blue sky

The Dali Theatre-Museum is a Surrealist experience for the visitor (Photo credit Jill Browne)

The TBEX travel blogger conference included the chance to sign up for a field trip to the Dalí Theatre-Museum, hosted by the Costa Brava Girona Tourism Board. On the same day, we did much more, including touring a winery and the vineyards of Empordalia, a farming co-op in Catalonia. More about that in a future post, but for now I will say it was a delicious treat to eat and drink local food and wine in the middle of the farming region where it’s all grown.

Back to Dalí. OK, I have been a visitor in a lot of museums and a volunteer in a few as well. I’ve got a diploma in the subject, which I mention only to suggest that I have seen some of the yardsticks by which museums can be measured.

The Dalí museum is partly a traditional art museum with paintings hanging on the walls. In any other art museum, those pieces would be the centre of attention, and certainly they deserve to be looked at and appreciated. But …

What I most want you to know about the Dalí museum is that it is also a giant art installation. At its core, you are inside the mind of the artist as it was, or may have been, for one brief, imaginary, surreal instant. You can look at Dalí’s work and be entertained and amused. You can walk through it, stand in it, and ponder the nature of consciousness. It’s your choice.

As you can tell I am struggling to get the experience into words. I don’t want to give a literal description of the art, though perhaps later I’ll try it, using pictures and drawing upon what experts have said about it. For now, I can only say that this museum presents the work of the artist in a unique and unforgettable way. Surreal.

I highly recommend it!

Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Frank Parker
    October 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    If I ever get the chance to visit Catalonia this will be a must see destination. I still remember vivdly the first time I saw a Dali painting over 50 years ago. I recently wrote a poem about it:

    Keep the Giraffe Burning

    In a barren landscape
    You stand with neck aflame
    Between pyramid-like hills
    And weird skeletal figures
    A premonition of wars
    In which Europe entire
    Would burn. Spain ignited
    The flames and Dali saw
    And early felt the heat
    Of Fascism’s scorching fire.

    But change the focus,
    Look at those weird figures:
    Flayed, deformed, propped
    By crutches ‘neath phallic
    Protrusions in their backs.
    Our minds hold secrets
    Freud once said like
    Drawers hidden deep within.
    These drawers are not hidden
    But their contents are invisible

    Two decades had passed
    Since Dali’s giraffe first burned
    And one since Europe’s fires
    Were doused. I was callow
    Seeing it for the first time
    Confused by the torrent
    Of emotions those images
    Spawned in me. Wonder
    Dread and awe shivered
    Up and down my spine

    Time has passed
    Fifty years and more.
    I still recall that twilit
    Scene, the desert sky
    And Dali’s other symbols
    Melting clocks and bloated lips
    Lobster phones and chests
    Of drawers; and a book on
    Surrealism aptly titled
    Keep the Giraffe Burning.

    • Reply
      jill
      October 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you for that poem, Frank. I hope you get to visit the museum. Clearly you would really understand and appreciate it.

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