DÉCOUVREZ LES 14 MUSÉES DE LA VILLE DE PARIS
October 17 2013 - February 16 2014
“Hugo is a surrealist when he’s not being a fool”, André Breton. Rather than seeking to portray Victor Hugo as a surrealist before his time, the exposition will seek to identify the connections"
Rather provocatively, André Breton wrote that “Hugo is a surrealist when he’s not being a fool” in the Surrealist Manfiesto. This unknown Hugo, which the surrealists set out to reveal, is the opposite of the national, conservative and academic monument that became of him in the 1920s. Rather than seeking to portray Victor Hugo as a surrealist before his time, the exposition will seek to identify the connections (romanticism and “the question of castles”), and point out shared concerns (the place of the role of chance, dream and the “bouche d’ombre”), practices (ink washes, use of stains, prints, rubbings, rebus) ideas (the fight against the death penalty, political activism, social justice), constants (passionate love), shared fascinations (night, forest, planets, animals, hands, Paris…). Step by step, the exposition will draw a common vision of supernaturalism and many parallel inquiries in the poetic and plastic fields. In particular, Hugo’s washes will be compared with the major works of Brassaï, André Breton, Max Ernst, Robert Desnos, Oscar Dominguez, Jacques Hérold, Valentine Hugo, Marcel Jean, René Magritte, André Masson, Joan Miro, Nadja, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy, Toyen, Unica Zurn. The exposition will be varied, rich, abundant and altogether full of unexpected surprises.
Vincent Gille, director of documentary studies at the Maison de Victor Hugo