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Exhibition Game

Exquisite Corpse for the International Exhibition of Surrealism Part One: Cairo 2022 Poetic and Critical Anthology

The below exquisite corpse features on the front cover of the International Exhibition of Surrealism Part One: Cairo 2022 Poetic and Critical Anthology, which was collectively produced by the members of La Sirena Surrealist Group.

(Digital Collage by La Sirena Surrealist Group)

Taya: The international spirit of the Surrealist Exhibition in Cairo is reflected here in the hybrid union of the creature’s three culturally distinct heads, including (from left to right) that of a Moai statue from Easter Island, an ancient Greek sculpture from the Classical period and an ancient Egyptian mummy from the host country, all of which were sourced from Harter’s Picture Archive for Collage and Illustration.

(Hand cut collage by Taya King)

Darren: I sourced the torso from an old favourite of mine – Heck’s Pictorial Archive of Nature and Science, from the section on anatomical bodies. I was struck by the positioning of the arms, which I read as a welcoming gesture and immediately brought back fond memories of how I felt when I was in Cairo amongst my surrealist comrades, who embraced La Sirena with open arms. I cannot think of a more fitting gesture to grace the cover of the anthology for the International Exhibition of Surrealism, with its emphasis on internationalism, open to all. 

(Hand cut collage by Darren Thomas)

The butterfly wings were taken from another of my favourite books: The Observer Book of Butterflies. I am constantly drawn to butterflies because of their association with flight, freedom, transformation, rebirth and hope, and, again, these associations were wedded to my experiences of flying to Cairo and being part of the exhibition, which was truly transformative.

Daina: I’ve always been fond of bestiaries and fantastical creatures like those imagined by Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516), Peter Bruegel the Elder (1525? – 1569) and J J Grandville (1803 – 1847). I love medieval bestiaries and pull a lot of inspiration for my work from such books.

(Digital collage by Daina Kopp)

The hips came from an image of, Pan, the Greek god of Shepards and the mountain wilds. The tail came from an engraving, DRAGON, 1640. Draco Aethiopicus. Woodcut from Ulisse Aldrovandi’s ‘Serpentum et Draconium Historiae’, Bologna, Italy, 1640.

I can’t recall where the image of Pan came from exactly. It might have been from the book Treasury of Fantastical and Mythological Creatures: 1087 Renderings from Historical Sources by Richard Huber.

Doug: For the legs, I used a reversed stock image of a knight in full body armour.

(Digital collage by Doug Campbell)

This turns out to be a 16th century wood engraving by Vecellio Cesare, a cousin of Titian! The metal ‘scales’ on the legs made me think of birds and reptiles, so I found textbook engravings of chicken feet and added them on.

Categories
Exhibition Game

‘Dreams of Cairo: Icarus Rising’

(Hand cut collage and mixed media by Darren Thomas)
Categories
Exhibition

International Exhibition of Surrealism Part One: Cairo 2022 Catalogue

The catalogue for part one of the International Exhibition of Surrealism in Cairo (2022), which features artworks and films produced by La Sirena, is now available to download as a PDF from Sulfur Surrealist Jungle.

https://sulfursurrealistjungle.com/2022/03/21/pdf-version-of-the-international-exhibition-of-surrealism-2022-catalog/?fbclid=IwAR0XDfo11gMKVYI477IxFQQZTR4tFGq_AJlw5TPTp-Fu3vvm2NuRAYbDPv0

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LaVOAHOVLcSgxyEm_YgKNiWxkuM6LHOv/view

Categories
Exhibition

International Exhibition of Surrealism Part One: Cairo 2022 Poetic and Critical Anthology

(Digital Collage by La Sirena Surrealist Group)

La Sirena Surrealist Group collectively produced the front cover for the International Exhibition of Surrealism’s upcoming Poetic and Critical Anthology, which features an old map of ancient Egypt and an exquisite corpse that each member contributed to. It is notable that both Egypt – the host country – as well as other cultures and mythologies (represented by the hybrid creature) form the focal point of the cover to reflect the diversity of participation within the international exhibition.

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Exhibition Film Poem Talks and Presentations

International Exhibition of Surrealism Cairo 2022

Taya King: La Sirena Surrealist Group participated in the International Exhibition of Surrealism by submitting collective poetry texts, artworks, and films, which was followed by their physical representation as a group at the exhibition in Cairo (February 2022). This historically significant event also marked the first time that all members of La Sirena have met each other since the group’s virtual inception the previous year, during lockdown. I was particularly proud to present my two films, La Femme Automatique and La Femme (Re)trouvée (2021), at the exhibition.

Darren Thomas: Being part of this great exhibition, in Cairo has been a truly special experience. As well as showing several of my collages and photographs, I screened the third film in my trilogy The Dream Key (eclipse) and performed my poetry. But my abiding memory is the collective and international nature of this meeting of hearts and minds from the surrealist community, offering a wonderful opportunity to meet old and new comrades alike from so many countries and different cultures and take part in a collective dialogue and group activities – the poetry made by all!

Doug Campbell: I had been excited to see the rebirth of Egyptian surrealism over the last few years, and was thrilled to be invited to Cairo to participate in the exhibition. Despite the many challenges faced by the organisers, the event more than lived up to expectations. A meeting of minds in a magical space, and as such, perhaps necessarily challenging. For me, those challenges were a reason to get out there and get involved, not a reason to stay at home. I’m so glad I did, and I’m sure the contacts made and the energy generated will lead to many further adventures.

Daina Kopp: I was over the moon to come to Cairo for such a monumental surrealist exhibit. As a polyglot, I was in my element to be surrounded by artists and creators of all kinds from 28 countries and 4 continents who flew in. It was an honor and a pleasure to submit artwork and perform with my surrealist dream-inspired band, Hypnagogic Telegram. It was enchanting to meet with my fellow sirens from La Sirena and I look forward to further collaborations with the artists who contributed to this amazing historical exhibit. An ancient country hosting the next chapter of surrealism. Bravo!

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Exhibition Game

Curious and Curiouser

Members of La Sirena (Left to Right: Taya King, Darren Thomas and Doug Campbell) met up in London yesterday to attend the ‘Curious and Curiouser’ exhibition on Carroll’s ‘Alice’ books at the Victoria and Albert museum. We went for a meal afterward, and glasses were raised to our comrade Daina Kopp, who sadly couldn’t make it this time. Proper scans of the Exquisite Corpses we made together to follow.