from Georges Hugnet: The Love Life of the Spumifers
November 16–January 28, 2011
Exhibition Opening: November 15, 6 to 9PM at Ubu Gallery
The Love Life of the Spumifers, or La Vie amoureuse des Spumifères, combines Surrealist poetry’s fascination with l’amour and Dada’s tendency towards deliberate grammatical spontaneity and absurdity. Words like bowoodling, friskadoodling and alabamaraminating are concocted by Hugnet to describe the seductive strategies of his imaginary creatures. Each text is dedicated to a different creature, describing how it woos, teases, gropes and molests its intended love conquest. Each Spumifer is illustrated by a gouache “beast,” which is added to an early Twentieth Century vintage “French” photo postcard. The mellifluously painted monsters slyly slither around the bare flesh of the pictured “mademoiselle,” nibbling and tickling, arousing her sexual desire. Hugnet’s illustrations seduce the viewer, parodying the human pursuit of love and lovemaking through these adorable grotesques.
Surrealism - takes advantage of ambiguity and lends itself to transposition - André Breton used to say. I think that a photographer who suggests, describes or finds so much (even though it is his duty never to falsify) is also entitled to use his negatives as a material which can create a dream. Surrealism is often pathetic or cruel, so why couldn’t it be loveable and poetic ?