Oct 3rd, 2021, 08:42 PM

L'Atelier des Lumières: Dalí's Endless Enigma

By Annika Soderberg
A black and white picture of Salvador Dalí
"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision" — Salvador Dalí.

At L'Atelier des Lumières, you can now immerse yourself in Dalí's wonderfully chaotic imagination. His strokes of genius dance along the walls and floors to songs by Pink Floyd. Located in Paris at 38 Rue Saint-Maur in the 11th arrondissement and running until January 2022, the exhibit reminds us to embrace different perspectives. 

Photo by Annika Soderberg

Do as Dalí

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) was the famous Spanish surrealist painter known for his conceptual works along with his fascination with the human subconsciousness. In a variety of forms of expression — including paintings, writing, drawing, and film — he explored the zone between reality and dreams. Although his concepts left many puzzled, his confidence never wavered in his artistic intelligence and imagination. 

Dalí's extravagant embrace of the subconscious serves as a reminder to question the status quo. In today's society, increasingly run by technology and targeted media, we rarely see things from a perspective other than our own. The revival of Dali's work at L'Atelier des Lumières offers viewers the chance to jump back in time and surround themselves with his unique takes on life. 

Photo by Annika Soderberg

Dalí used to insist that his "hand-painted dream photographs" didn't hold any specific messages. Instead, he wanted to put his art out into the world and let people find their own meanings. Nowadays, this freedom of interpretation may be something of a rarity.

Although we have the freedom to choose the kind of media that we consume, we have become overwhelmingly stuck in our bubbles and narrow ways of thinking. Therefore, an immersive experience within Dalí's work encourages us to embrace the inner misfits in all of us. Dalí once said, "It is not me who is the clown, but this monstrously cynical and so unconsciously naive society, which plays the game of seriousness in order to better hide its madness." 

The Exhibit - L'Atelier des Lumières: Dali's Endless Enigma 

To enter the atelier, you must purchase your ticket ahead of time and present your pass sanitaire. Be sure to silence your phones and lower your voice before walking in, as the show is probably going on. There are no set entrance or exit times, so you may stay as long as you please once you have entered.

When you walk into the room, be prepared for a dramatic shift in senses. The vast dark room with twinkling lights can be a bit overwhelming at first. Once you're in, find some different spots from which to enjoy the show. If you want to sit down, a few benches are scattered around, but I recommend walking around to get the full experience. I suggest ending your visit with a look from the upstairs as the higher vantage point makes for a more expansive view of all the art.

Photo by Annika Soderberg

Dalí's metaphysical works truly come alive during this experience. The works included paintings, drawings, photographs, and videos. A few of his featured pieces included Persistence of MemoryGalatea of the Spheres, and Elephants. The 40-minute display of details swirling along the walls and trickling down to the floor will entrance your imagination. After taking in this exhibition, you'll be reminded of what it is to embrace the whimsy in life.