In honour of the late great maverick artist Salvador Dali, we present an original short experimental film shot on Super8 in Barcelona.
Hugely enigmatic and known for dividing opinion, the Spanish artist Salvador Dali remains one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, defining a style of surrealism symbolic of dreams and the unconscious.
A movement founded in Paris by French poet Andre Breton, largely inspired by the birth of psychology in the early 20th century and the studies of Freud, Surrealism was defined as:
"Pure psychic automatism by which it is proposed to express, either verbally, in writing or in any other way, the real function of thought. Thought's dictation in the absence of all control exercised by reason and outside all aesthetic or moral pre-occupations" (Andre Breton)
Dali's work encompassed many disciplines such as painting, illustration, film, sculpture and even poetry. Notorious for his public displays of extravagance and bold statements, Dali became a staple-mark name in popular culture.
Dali's visual collaboration An Andalusian Dog with fellow artist Luis Bunel remains one of the most groundbreaking and earliest examples of silent art films to emerge in the early 20th century.
As Dali evolved as an artist, he began to outgrow the surrealist movement, famously quoted as saying after his publicised exit from the group:
"The difference between me and the Surrealists is that I am a Surrealist" (Dali, 1940)
The controversy around Dali revolves around his political beliefs, criticised strongly for his support of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. This outraged fellow Catalan artist Pablo Picasso so strongly that he refused to acknowledge Dali for the rest of his life. In 1981 when King Juan Carlos 1st took the throne in Spain and visited an elderly Dali, the artist confessed "I have always been an anarchist and a monarchist". The drawing that Dali gave the king during this meeting would be the last one he would ever draw.
Regardless of his political stances, the legacy of Salvador Dali remains as one of the pioneers of fantastical and surrealist art, to this day inspiring generations of artists to think outside of the box. This paradox of admiring an artist for their work whilst questioning their morals is the theme of this short experimental Super8 film...
"I was in Barcelona and wanted to capture something that represented the timelessness of the city. For me Super8 was the best way to achieve this, so I visited locations that felt like they could have looked the same if it was a 100 years ago. At the time of my visit there was a huge protest over the Catalan right for independence, a people who are very proud and see themselves as separate to the rest of Spain. When I discovered that Dali himself was in support of the monarchy and Spanish rule despite being Catalan, it raised a lot of questions in my head about how we can idolise artists despite being unaware of their deeper beliefs which may conflict with our own." - Brandon Pestano (Resident Creative - Director & Editor)
Check out a gallery of our favourite Salvador Dali artworks below ~
- Psychic Garden