Belgium is a land of Surrealism, so it was by no means coincidental that Surrealists themselves actually incorporated objects of everyday use into their works. In its turn, this has lately inspired the Design Flanders gallery´s decision to také up the theme of Surrealism as the pivotal element of its European touring exhibition.
Entitled “Je suis dada: Flemish Design between Dream and Reality,” the show presents exhibits carrying hidden meanings, packed with emotions, poetry, irony, and relativism. They have the power to awaken in the spectator a disposition to dream, fantasize, and smile. Some even intend to induce a shocked response. Here, once again, imagination reigns supreme. The very title of the exhibition relates almost literally to a desire for freedom, provokes both interest and questions, and is as meaningful as the message of René Magritte´s painting, Ceci n´est pas une pipe, “This is not a Pipe.”
Jonathan Valcke, director of Design Flanders, with curator Inge Vranken, picked an array of works by 32 contemporary designers. While some of these artists translate into reality their dreams, an approach resulting in flowing shapes and poetic titles, others are more inclined towards figurative designs. Frequent themes include parts of the human body, animals, and erotic motifs.
The exhibition has already proved its value on several previous stops, in Turin, Brussels and Vienna, where it met with an exceptionally wide response. “Je suis dada” is more than a mere presentation of designer objects. Its story is completed by a display of preliminary art work, installations, visual effects and music, all of which attract the spectator to a surrealistic world.
Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
17. listopadu 2
110 00 Prague 1
Tue 10 a.m.—7 p.m., Wed — Sun 10 a.m.—6 p.m., Mon closed