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Kennedy, Maev

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The Guardian - United Kingdom | 28/03/2007

The commercialisation of surrealism

"Surreal Things", an exhibition exploring how surrealism was commercialised opens Thursday, 29th of March, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (V&A). Maev Kennedy calls up the past. "The ghosts of André Breton and Louis Aragon should really turn up and picket. ... In 1926, [they] were affronted that fellow surrealists Max Ernst and Joan Miró were 'selling their souls to commerce' by designing sets and costumes for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. …What they would make of the exhibition's gift shop, with its £3 squeaky rubber lobsters or Man Ray's skin crawlingly sinister Cadeau Audace - a flat iron with a row of nails protuding viciously from the sole plate, now a £5 tea towel - can only be guessed at. … The curator, Ghislaine Wood, points out that surrealism 'grabbed the popular imagination, and is still tremendously powerful today.'... The exhibition recreates some perhaps mercifully lost surrealist interiors."

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