The Ghost of Anhedonia:

If you walk towards west you’ll meet a crossing. There is a cafe right across the street. Closed. A road has come straight from the west, one from the south and another from north. If you walk to north, the road is quite dusty and fuzzy yellow light shines upon the place to make it look surreal. And, yeah, you’ll get to see a record store and a lady of around 30 years, probably the owner of it, noticing your existence and your walk with her cold eyes while sitting on a bench and cleaning the vinyls, on your way, right beside the closed cafe, to the north pointedly. A 2 minutes walk and you’ll get to see it..

Dreams can be admittedly expressive and are, in some ways, able to exhibit the tangible world through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy. However, it’s not that I have ample knowledge of dreams but what I do have is ample amount of defiled instincts. About 1937, Max Ernst, a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, poet and a primary pioneer of the Dada movement and Surrealism, began to experiment with two unpredictable processes called decalcomania and grattage. Decalcomania  is an art of transferring pictures and designs from specially prepared paper onto another paper, glass or glaze.

A chain-link fence. The rigid and thin iron rods have crossed one another giving every intermission in between four assignations a shape of square and on top of them there is a round iron rod helping the inferiors to have one final hold. All silver in color and they are about 6.5 feet off the ground; standing on the left side of the road. 10 feet more to the north and the fence takes a turn to the west and ends around 50 feet ahead from where it starts. All yellow and misty, probably obscure. There you will see, a house, at the end of the fence. A family of three. An owner, a lady in her late 40, and their daughter.

“Although the dream is a very strange phenomenon and an inexplicable mystery, far more inexplicable is the mystery and aspect our minds confer on certain objects and aspects of life.”Giorgio de Chirico.

Dreams have a lot to do with how we experience the tangible reality. And in a way, it is among the biggest cubists, expressionists, impressionists and surrealists out in existence through out the decades. It’s like enjoying an artwork but from the inside while standing within and being surrounded by the texture, being able to touch, hear, see and witness. But one might get astounded without having a brief idea of what is cubism or expressionism or impressionism or surrealism. The fundamental idea of cubism is to make an object discernible but at the same time analyzed, destroyed or dissected ( see Ma Jolie by Pablo Picasso, Man with a Guitar by Georges Braque ). And expressionism is about to show the subjective emotion of an object but in an oscillated, exaggerated and swirled way ( see The Scream by Edvard Munch, The Blue Rider by Wassily Kandinsky, The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh ). Impressionism shows an object as someone would see it if they just caught a semblance of it. Its like the idea of a place or a video game in our mind that we used to visit or play in our childhood but do not anymore. They are bright, vibrant and somewhere distorted or more polished. So in a way impressionism is about renouncing the linear aspect and accepting it in a way that can be vivid or imperfect ( see Vetheuil in the Fog by Claude Monet, The Boulevard Montmartre, Afternoon by Camille Pissarro, Paris Street, Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte ). And then comes the notion of surrealism which is rather complicated, and is the most recognizable nonetheless the most intangible and imposing conduction among these four. The word surrealism was coined in March 1917 by Guillaume Apollinaire three years before Surrealism emerged as an art movement in Paris. He wrote in a letter to Paul Dermée: “All things considered, I think in fact it is better to adopt surrealism than supernaturalism, which I first used”. Surrealists rely on motifs that come from their dreams or unconscious self. As André Breton put “Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express – verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner – the actual functioning of thought.”  The importance of the dream as an assortment of inspiration was highlighted. Breton also discussed his initial encounter with the surreal in a famous description of a hypnagogic state that he experienced in which a strange phrase inexplicably appeared in his mind: “There is a man cut in two by the window”. This phrase echoes Breton’s conception of surrealism as the proximity of “two distant realities” united to create a new one. The theartstory puts “Artists bypass reason and rationality by accessing their unconscious mind. In practice, these techniques became known as automatism or automatic writing, which allowed artists to forgo conscious thought and embrace chance when creating art.” ( see Swans Reflecting Elephants by Salvador Dali, The Empty Mask by René Magritte, The Accommodations of Desire by Salvador Dalí, The Barbarians by Max Ernst ). “Before he goes into the water, a diver cannot know what he will bring back.” One of Ernst’s quotes and it happens to recount a lot about dreams. So, if we take everything we experience, everything we can and cannot and yet to comprehend, something that comes to our remark even for a shred of second  in our day to day life as a specially prepared paper, then dream’s work is to transfer them on to another paper and exhibit; which is dream itself and which defines decalcomania very well

Straight ahead to the north again, to the end, and there you take the left turn. Floating black walls on the left side of the road. They are plain in the surface. Grounded smokes, all dumped, damped, black and grey with the sound of a billowing sea. Even with the smoke you can see the plain pathway and if you are sentient enough you will feel the vibration. As if the ground is wagging . Then you unearth the doorway in between the walls that leads to a misty, obscure and corrugating ocean. If you let yourself loose into it, it will float you to the other side. A white shore filled with haze. 5-6 minutes walk to the south and you’ll see a red spectral house clasped with trees and conserved with a big door. Somehow you’ll let yourself in and the sinister will start. The ghost of anhedonia. A mother and her child. You will be chased until you don’t end up in an isolated time. And when you depart you will see a road coming from the east. If you walk towards west you’ll meet a crossing and there is a cafe right across the street…

Photo by Pedro Figueras from Pexels

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