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Touring activities


Fantasy Visions in Starewitch, Švankmajer and the Quay Brothers

Metamorphosis presents the works of four key figures in the field of animated films: the pioneering Polish animator (born in Russia) who made his home in Paris, Ladislas Starewitch (1882-1965), the Czech master, Jan Švankmajer (1934), and the Quay Brothers (1947), who were born in Pennsylvania but have lived in London for the past three decades. Three unique filmographies that, nonetheless, have a great deal in common: an eccentric universe of slumber where innocence, cruelty, voluptuousness, magic and madness coexist.

Yet what makes the exhibition a truly international event is the fact that the work of these creators, who are engaged in explicit dialogue, is being brought together in one single project: the Quay Brothers acknowledge that they are admirers of Jan Švankmajer, and all three relish the company of Starewitch. Theirs is a cinema of resistance against narrative conventions which is impervious to the rationalising hygiene modernity has imposed. In the face of the world of the adult and the correct, Starewitch’s imagination, Švankmajer’s provocation and the Quay Brothers’ permanently convalescing characters put themselves forward as an unexpected invitation to freedom.

Animated cinema is the demiurgic art par excellence: matter comes to life and is transformed in the hands and imaginations of the creators. The exhibition showcases a large number of the objects they used in their filmography, but also the artistic and cinematographic references which trace the spheres of interest these filmmakers are drawn to: fairytales, horror stories, the world of dreams, cabinets of curiosities, pre-Enlightenment science, alchemy and illusionism.

Lines of work

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