Awakening the Unconcious

William Glover
Oct 16, 2014 5:15AM

Where do dreams come from? Why do they invoke such a strong emotional response? Does nostalgia and sentiment exist between the world of fantasy and reality? These questions are very difficult to answer, but these experiences share one element in common: they are part of the unconscious mind.

For my curator project, I have chosen to explore the topic of awakening unconscious feelings and memories that have been buried deep within the adult mind. Most of the collection comes from the surrealist movement featuring artists such as Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguy, Giorgio de Chirico, and Robert Rauschenberg. Their application of color, composition, and the uncanny bring forth feelings of childhood nostalgia, but also uncertainty and irrationality that is experienced in the lives of people on a day-by-day basis.

Even though surrealism is surrounded by an air of elitism, I believe these paintings should be enjoyed by everyone no matter who you are. It is not required to have an extremely high level of thinking to pretend that these images make sense. The whole point of this collection is to illicit an emotional response in the viewers by simply looking at the image, and having them draw conclusions deep from within themselves. In Rauschenberg's piece, Music (Tribute 21), the lithograph is abstract but features colors and forms that represent movement and uncertainty, almost like a storm over the ocean and the encroaching waters below.

One artist I am focusing on strongly is Giorgio de Chirico, and his metaphysical paintings. The gallery surrounds his images that featuring lonely landscapes with architectural structures that draw the viewers into the world of uncertainty. In particular, Piazza d'Italia con Arianna has very warm colors and the columns lead to the focal point which is the large vertical structure in the middle. This invites the viewers to become apart of the world, and the dreamlike quality of the composition brings forth feelings of irrationality often found in trying to decipher the uncanny.

While this exhibition focuses on paintings from early to mid-20th century, the pieces have a distinct timelessness to them. These omnipresent images of visual uncertainty can be relevant to any time period due to their indirect messages that people construct for themselves. There isn't a context for the subject, it is simply the image itself that is the subject. I also feel that this gallery is important in this day in age, where our minds are constantly active and stimulated through technology. These images can cause people to stop, think, and ask questions like the ones presented at the beginning of this proposal.

I hope that anyone viewing my gallery will spend a long time looking into these pieces and observe them closely. I hope viewers will get lost in the memories and emotions that are being brought to the surface from the unconscious mind, and maybe learn something about themselves in the process.

William Glover