Arts & Entertainment

Mexico hosts ‘Dalí 2.1,’ a deep look at the master of surrealism

By Monica Rubalcava

Mexico City, May 11 (EFE).- On the 117th anniversary of the birth of Salvador Dalí, the exhibition “Dalí 2.1,” which opened on Tuesday in Mexico City, seeks to give a more complete picture of the Spanish artist through 250 original works.

“We all know that he was a surrealist painter and that he painted clocks, but behind that there is much more,” the exhibition’s curator, Ignacio Shanahan, told EFE.

“There is a very rich man super concerned with philosophy, obsessed with science, with the advancement of all the branches of science, always in contact with the people who were making the latest discoveries and understanding what they were working on, looking towards the future, seeing what possibilities the future would bring, trying to understand towards what it would evolve.”

The exhibition shows who the artist was beyond his eccentricity and the basic knowledge that people have about him.

Paintings, etchings, sculptures, studies and photographs are grouped into series, marking the time periods in which they were made, as well as his techniques.

Visitors are greeted by a huge cross of screens that introduces them to Dalí’s religious universe.

Further in, throughout the Santa Fe Center’s Galería Daliana, works from series such as “Casanova,” “The Conquest of the Cosmos” and “Tarot,” among others, can be seen.

But the works really come to life in virtual reality format, to which the public will have access by downloading a mobile app.

“The digital layer gives the name to this exhibition – 2.1 refers to a new improved version in which we have been working for the last two years, giving Dalí the possibility of showing his art in the format in which we are all expressing ourselves today. What would Dalí do if he could think and investigate the world if he had an internet search engine?” asked the curator.

The exhibition also has audio guides for those who bring headphones and mobile phones.

In addition, through educational videos, the public will learn that his work is not only based on painting, cinema, literature and architecture, but also involves things of a daily and popular nature, such as having designed the logo for Chupa Chups lollipops and having collaborated with Walt Disney.

The project was presented in Argentina in 2019 with a smaller number of works, but in reality it has been 20 years since the idea to carry out an exhibition of such magnitude in Latin America was conceived.

“It was born in the minds of two illustrious beings who have already abandoned us – Enric Sabater and Santiago Shanahan. The first was the secretary, administrator and personal friend of the Gala-Dalí marriage for 13 years and the other, my father, Santiago Shanahan,” the curator said.

What they sought was to show the 317 works that Dalí’s friend had collected throughout his work with the painter, to make “an exceptional curation that would show all the artist’s sides and to be able to create a traveling exhibition that would travel through the southern hemisphere of the world.”

This dream was fulfilled, but Ignacio Shanahan’s goals are bigger.

“One day we will achieve the dream of giving Latin America the privilege of having the fifth permanent Dalí museum in the world, which is ours, the Latin Americans’, and that houses the entire Sabater collection exhibited, with a specific curatorship and that is displayed in a surreal building – that’s the goal,” he said.

“Dalí 2.1” is held in the Daliana Gallery of the Santa Fe Center in Mexico City until June 30, with a view to expanding until July 30.  Afterwards, it will tour cities such as Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mérida. EFE

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