June 28, 2010

Come out from the world
and into my arms
like wind on the water with me
come out from the city
come out from the town
build stone by stone a wild mountain home

Antonio McAfee, 6/30/2007

* From Dropping the Spoon:

A well-read student of Sigmund Freud, Salvador Dalí—who never used drugs and only drank alcohol (especially champagne) in moderation—turned to a most unusual way to access his subconscious. He knew that the hypnologic state between wakefulness and sleep was possibly the most creative for a brain.

Like Freud and his fellow surrealists, he considered dreams and imagination as central rather than marginal to human thought. Dalí searched for a way to stay in that creative state as long as possible just as any one of us on a lazy Saturday morning might enjoy staying in bed in a semi-awake state while we use our imagination to its fullest. He devised a most interesting technique.

"Sitting in the warm sun after a full lunch and feeling somewhat somnolent, Dalí would place a metal mixing bowl in his lap and hold a large spoon loosely in his hands which he folded over his chest. As he fell asleep and relaxed, the spoon would fall from his grasp into the bowl and wake him up. He would reset the arrangement continuously and thus float along-not quite asleep and not quite awake—while his imagination would churn out the images that we find so fascinating, evocative, and inexplicable when they appear in his work…” —from Provenance is Everything, Bernard Ewell

How simple, how obvious and elucidating this is! To think that those images of towering giraffes, lions stretching out of pomegranates and 4-dimensional tesseract crucified Christs were in fact straight of out dreams makes one realize that the mojo of the king of surrealism (not to mention a potion for creativity strong enough to intoxicate the likes of Newton and Beethoven) is in fact available to us right here and now, and the only cost would be trading in a nap for a drowsy state of temporary self-denial, the hardest part is simply not letting yourself go all the way to sleep.

* "Written history is composed of actions; real history is actions compounded invisibly with refusals to act" -- Robert Grudin


Blogger Bernard Ewell "Salvador Dali ARTPRO" said...

Very nice overview of Salvador Dali accessing his subconscious. I especially like your "and it's available to all of us, too" perspective. Here's wishing you much hynagogic creativity.

Bernard Ewell, ASA

4:45 PM  

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