Monday, December 7, 2015

On Dali's Silver Towers of Eyes

Daum Variations on Dali at Espace Dali in Paris

Maja Trochimczyk with Hanna Kulenty and the Crowds of the Basilica Sacre Coeur

Maja Trochimczyk with Alicja Guillemette-Bialek and Dali

So many blessings, so many delights discovered in Paris... in the Espace Dali in Montmartre. While hordes of tourists are satisfied by a trek up the hill to the Sacre Coeur Basilica and down the side streets to the art market square, faux restaurants and all the faux artistes, we took a turn around the corner to an empty street, past an empty restaurant: Espace Dali with a show of modern interpretations of his sculptures in multicolored, liquid glass.

an empty bistro 
silences crowded Paris street
outside of time

In part, I did know what to expect: melting clocks, women with drawers in their bodies, and giraffes on fire.

melting clocks
go on pretending -
too solid for time

"to melt or not to melt" -
this is the question only
snails may answer

bronze leaves
deny the right of time 
to melt in your eyes

wings seen unseen
I multiply into a twin shadow
of a double goddess

I did not know about the eyes, though. I guess, they are too far beyond the ordinary, even the extra-ordinary-ordinary...  There are several drawings and sculptures of multiple eyes on display in the museum. I was fascinated by the Architecture of Eyes, a relief sculpture made of silver metal and blue artificial eyes, some with eyelashes, some without. 

The whole stack of these eyes has an other-worldly, apocalyptic impact, making one think of Cherubim and the Divine Vessel described by Ezekiel, with its wings folding into each other, and the multitude of open eyes on the rim of its wheels... A strange world, a strange world indeed where eyes are buildings and buildings are made of eyes...

After Dali

If your eyelids do not shine silver
In a tower of endless repeats,
If your lips do not bloom in a sofa,
Too pouty to be touched or kissed
If your snails do not grow larger than tigers,
And your clocks do not melt onto your trees,
What are you doing  in the Espace Dali
on Montmartre? Lost in this crooked house
On a crooked alley, up a crooked hill
That twists time into a pretzel of potentiality
Where elephants grow spider-thin legs
Running after endless flames of giraffes.

Eyes watch blue eyes
Folding into the silver
Rings of recurrence

You have to really look to see that reality
Of impossible presence beyond limits
Where Everything is One and One is 
Everything and you are in the leaves 
And petals open in you and the Earth 
Under your feet sighs through your lungs 
And your heart beats with the waves 
of the ocean

Eyes watch blue eyes
Folding into the silver
Rings of recurrence

                                When birds welcome the sun
Rising in your garden that morning, you know
You hear their song, singing Yes, it is always
Yes in the eyeless ears of the birds
In the bluest eyes of silvery turrets
In Dali’s architecture of eyes

When birds welcome the sun
With the waves of the ocean,
You know.  Everything is One
One is Everything
You hear their song, singing Yes,
Always Yes in the bluest of Yes
In the Time’s Yes, the unfolding
Architecture of Eyes.

eyes watch blue eyes
folding into the silver
rings of recurrence

eyes watch blue eyes
folding into the silver
rings of recurrence

And still... Ambika Talwar saw something else:

flashing walls
folding doors
see eyes creep
do not fall asleep
how can you awaken?


Photos from the Espace Dali in Paris by Maja Trochimczyk, Photos from Paris by Alicja Guillemette-Bialek and Martin Majoor.  Artwork includes fragments from Architecture of Eyes by Salvador Dali, Paris Espace Dali.
(c) 2015 by Maja Trochimczyk

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