"In the letter to those participating in the exhibition "Le surréalisme en 1947" (text from January 12th 1947), André Breton presented his plans for the way this undertaking was to be carried out:
In the 1947 exhibition, Surrealist aspirations, both poetic and in the plastic arts, must be able to be expressed simultaneously, what they share being the search for a NEW MYTH-one which we may assume exists today in an embryonic or latent state.
The overall structure of the exhibition will be based on a primordial concern, that of recounting the successive stages of INITIATION, where the passage from one room to another will imply graduation from stage to stage."
Whereas the ground floor would house a retrospective exhibition entitled "Les surréalistes malgré eux" bringing together works by pre-Surrealists (Bosch, Archimboldo, etc.) and artists who had ceased to gravitate in the orbit of Surrealism (Chirico, Picasso, Masson, Dali, etc.), a visit to the rooms on the first floor was meant to constitute the first rite in an initiation. Having passed through the HALL OF SUPERSTITIONS as well as the room where curtains of multi-coloured rain were installed, and then proceeded to the billiard room-without disturbing the players- the visitor came to a room divided into octagons, where each octagonal cell was dedicated to "a being, or a category of beings or objects SUSCEPTIBLE TO BEING ENDOWED WITH A MYTHICAL LIFE and to whom an "altar" would have been erected, modelled after pagan cults."
Participants were invited to submit to the organizers "texts of INSCRIPTIONS to be introduced into each display as well as plans for drawings to be executed on the floor at the foot of each of the "altars".
The Condylure (ou taupe étoilée des vieux auteurs : star nosed mole), one of a dozen mythical categories enumerated by Breton, was wedded to the sign of Scorpio, it signification tied to the "astral virtues of the elements, semination, chains of harmony."
Breton confided the presentation of the "altar" which was dedicated to him to one or both of the Seigles.
These works are altar projects submitted for the approval of the organizers by the Seigle(s) for the 1947 exhibition "Le surréalisme en 1947" and intended for the room of octagonal cells.
- Adam Biro, René Passeron, Dictionnaire général du surréalisme et de ses environs, Fribourg, Office du Livre S.A., 1982, p. 379
|Creation date||Vers 1947|
|Date of publication||1947|
|Physical description||39 x 35 cm et un rabat de 39 x 19 cm (15 3/8 x 13 3/4 in. and 15 3/8 x 7 1/2 in.) - Encre noire et marron sur papier calque|
|Copyright||© ADAGP, Paris, 2005.|
|Breton Auction, 2003||Lot 4414|
|Keywords||Graphic Arts, Exhibitions|
|Set||[Exhibitions] 1947, Exposition Maeght 1947|