LECTURE: KATE CONLEY, DEAN OF THE FACULTY OF ARTS & SCIENCES, PROFESSOR OF FRENCH & FRANCOPHONE STUDIES, WILLIAM & MARY

October 23, 2019
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Tucker Hall Theater | October 23, 2019 | 6 – 7 PM

Join us at Tucker Hall Theater for a lecture by Kate Conley, Dean of Faculty of Arts & Sciences, for her lecture entitled Collection as a Surrealist State of Mind.  She will discuss how surrealist artists and poets in France and England filled their living spaces with objects from around the world that had symbolic value to them. Over the course of the movement, which spanned the twentieth century, collection became a surrealist state of mind. The things they collected mirrored and refracted back to them aspects of their own experience of being alive in a material world. This talk will highlight the impact the collections of André Breton, author of the Manifesto of Surrealism (1924), and Roland Penrose, organizer of the first major surrealist exhibition in London in 1936, had on their thought and everyday lives. They were fascinated by objects from Oceania, specifically Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, that had had a ritual function in their cultures of origin. That original function lay dormant within these things, lending them a ghostly quality within their new European settings that activated the surrealists’ imagination. They sought insight from their things, ways to create new rituals that would allow them to work together as a group to invent new ways of thinking and making art that could revitalize their lives and the life of their community.

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