Distorting mirrors, gigantic tree, stuffed animals and chessboard floors… Funny things have been happening for the past few days at the MAMCS (Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art). A surreal setting… For an exhibition that is even more so! Until February 26, the mad world of Lewis Carroll and the surrealists can be seen on a large scale in the museum’s collections. With “SurréAlice”, dive head first into Wonderland.
Greeted by a wacky, stunning, and downright insane sculpture by artist Monster Chetwynd, the public enters this exhibition “SurréAlice”, as one would enter the burrow of the White Rabbit of Alice: with curiosity and greed.
Moving forward cautiously, already aware of the excess that this museography will take, the viewer enters a colorful world, upside down, bringing together « more than a hundred works, paintings, photographs, drawings, prints but also collages or editions covering the period from 1919 until the end of the 1960s”.
Surprises at all levels
So as not to spoil the surprise for you, we will only tell you that we come across a stuffed rabbit here and there (or other animals that populate Lewis Carroll’s books, and come from the collections of the Zoological Museum – still under renovation). That Dalí meets Magritte, Duchamp, Victor Brauner or Hans-Jean Harp there.
We also add thata good place is made there for the female artists of the movement: Toyen, Gisèle Prassinos, Dorothea Tanning… That a few artists play their cards on the table like Man Ray with his photographs, where others have fun playing chess. …Far from being a failure, this exhibition is also a success! And stop in front Jabberwockythe fabulous film by Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer. A little marvel of assembly where well before Toy Story, the toys were already coming to life.
Without telling you too much, we can only advise you to also venture upstairs, in “ExpériMAMCS #3: in Alice’s dreams”an immersive space illustrated by Amandine Laprun, to challenge yourself to cricket, a flamingo in your hands. And also slip on the floor below, where the MAMCS offers a surrealist dictionary of its collections with “D’Absurde à Zibou”.
A two-part exhibition
If you have been told so far about MAMCS, it should be noted that the exhibition is in two parts, with a second dedicated to him by the Tomi Ungerer Museum – International Center of Illustration. After “SurréAlice” which occupies several spaces of the first, we find in the second museum “Illustr’Alice”, around the illustrations of books on the theme of Alice.
If it has populated the world of children’s books since its creation, it is also present in the illustration ofhumor and satire where the nonsense and the image of Alice have inspired many illustrators. …until serving as “satirical support for press cartoons for the purpose of social and political criticism” as noted in the preamble to the exhibition. The museum brings together for this hanging more than 150 worksvariations and reinterpretations of this great classic.
For further, the André Malraux Media Library invites us to discover “Alice in the Country of Illustration”, an exhibition with free entry around illustrated works media library collections. If Alice wonders – from the pen of Lewis Carroll – “What good is a book without pictures? »with this exhibition, the Mediatheque responds to it… marvelously.
So if you don’t want to be « In delay, in delay »like Disney’s White Rabbit and these exhibitions pass you by, you have until February 26!
Until February 26, 2023
At the MAMCS (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg), at the Tomi Ungerer Museum – International Center of Illustration, and at the André Malraux Media Library