Vit afrodisisk telefon

Salvador Dalí, Vit afrodisisk telefon, 1936 © Salvador Dalí, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation/BUS, Stockholm 2009

Re-thinking Surrealism

In late November, a few of the world’s most prominent experts on Dalí will gather in Stockholm for a two-day international symposium, Re-thinking Surrealism: Shock, Disturb and Surprise.

Speakers from the UK, Spain, France, Italy and the USA will give highlights from recent research on Salvador Dalí and surrealism. Discussions on some of the theories behind the exhibition Dalí Dalí featuring Francesco Vezzoli will analyse Dalí’s influence on contemporary artists such as Francesco Vezzoli. Welcome to two days of talks and presentations, including unique documentary film footage.

The symposium is intended for researchers in related fields and the art-loving public. Arranged by Moderna Museet in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies, University of Manchester, Instituto Cervantes, Stockholm University and Södertörn University.

Programme (pdf)


SEK 200 (Friends of Moderna Museet SEK 100), including refreshments and admission to the exhibition. Tickets can be booked through Any remaining tickets will be sold at Moderna Museet on 21 November from 10 am.


Dawn Ades, professor of Art History, University of Essex, co-director of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies
David Lomas, professor of Art History, University of Manchester, and co-director of Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies
Pilar Parcerisas, Barcelona, PhD in Art History, art critic and curator
Frédérique Joseph Lowery, PhD, art critic and exhibition curator
William Jeffett, PhD, curator, Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida
Francesco Vezzoli, artist
Lars Nittve, director, Moderna Museet
Ulf Eriksson, curator, Moderna Museet
Nicholas Descharnes, Paris, head of Archives Descharnes

Francesco Vezzoli Courtesy Gagosian Gallery Foto: Guy Ferrandis

Francesco Vezzoli
© Francesco Vezzoli Courtesy Gagosian Gallery
Photo: Guy Ferrandis

Programme 21 November

Welcome, Lars Nittve, Director, Moderna Museet

Introduction, Karin Malmquist, Moderna Museet

The Architectonic Angelus of Millet. Dawn Ades, Professor of Art History, Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies. Salvador Dalí applied his paranoiac-critical method to Jean-François Millet’s painting Angelus (1857-59), a painting that had fascinated and inspired him since the 1930s. Dawn Ades analyses Dalí’s lifelong relationship to the painting and how it is one of many examples of how Dalí reverts to, and processes, a subject several times.

Divine Dalí. David Lomas, Professor of Art History, University of Manchester, Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies. The talk considers how Dalí remakes his artistic identity on the model of a screen celebrity during the 1930s and 1940s, not coincidentally a period of his close involvement with Hollywood. Dalí’s adoption of narcissus as a personal myth is a consequence of his immersion in this world. The term “divine”, David Lomas shows, points contradictorily to Dali’s obsession with Leonardo da Vinci at the same time that it evokes a contemporary, cinema-derived idea of fame. Divine Dali is a prescient harbinger of later artists like Warhol and Vezzoli who explore what it means to be an artist in an age of celebrity.



Mae West done wrong by Vezzo[da]li. Frédérique Joseph Lowery, Ph.D. art critic and exhibition curator. By using Mae West’s face as a surrealist apartment, Salvador Dalí opened up a space for the display of his own art. “Come up and see me some time”, Mae West famously said in She done him wrong. Dali indeed modified the poster of this movie to touch up the face of the Broadway star. Vezzoli responded to this logic by also using Dalí’s “face” in order to display his own embroidered/painted works. He drew upon the medium of cinema instead of theatre. Frédérique Joseph Lowery explores Vezzo[da]li’s “interface”, She also examines how Dali’s collaboration with major choreographers, who allowed him to present his works on international theatre stages, built the conceptual foundations of his Theatre-Museum.


15.15 – 16.00
L’Histoire prodigieuse de la Dentellière et du Rhinocéros. Nicolas Descharnes, runs Archives Descharnes, in Paris. His father, Robert Descharnes, was a photographer and a close friend of Salvador Dalí. The two men worked together on the unfinished film L’Histoire prodigieuse de la Dentellière et du Rhinocéros, (The Prodigious Adventure of the Lacemaker and the Rhinoceros). Nicolas Descharnes talks about the film project and presents exclusive raw material from the film.

Programme 22 November

Introduction, Karin Malmquist, Moderna Museet

Dalì and Politics (1951-1974) William Jeffett, Chief Curator, Exhibitions at the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, address how Dalí projected himself as a public figure within the landscape of post-war politics. In part he situated himself, in relation to Picasso’s identification with communism, as an anti-communist, identifying his public image within the US perspective of the cold war. In the 1940s, Dalí famously painted Franco’s ambassador to the US. Shortly thereafter Dalí sought a rapprochement with Franco’s Spain constructing himself as the consummate Spanish artist. Dalí’s contrarian position persisted well beyond the onset of the cold war. As late as the early 1970s, and at a time when arguably there was no opportunistic advantage, he continued the reaffirmation reactionary positions.

Short break

Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp. Elective Affinities. The 20th Century Painting Machine. Pilar Parcerisas, PhD in Art History. art critic and curator. The friendship between Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp played a major role in the evolution of 20th century painting. Both had ideas about a new pictorial conception based on the research of a new representational system. Marcel Duchamp achieved this through the creation of his erotic “machines célibataires”, like The Large Glass (1914-1923), while Salvador Dalí conceived the paranoiac-critical method. Their attitudes were derived from the literature of the late 19th century and taken to the world of the pictorial space. Pilar Parcerisas talks about the still not fully explored relationship between Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp, not only regarding their personal friendship, but also from an aesthetical approach.


Conversation between Francesco Vezzoli, artist, and John Peter Nilsson, Moderna Museet, curator Dalí Dalí featuring Francisco Vezzoli.

14.45 – 16.00
Panel discussion with all the speakers. Moderator: Dawn Ades.

Contact: Karin Malmquist

More about this exhibition