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Salvador Dali at Center Pompidou


Have you ever passed by the seemingly inside-out building in Paris known as the Pompidou Centre? Don’t be put off by the multicolored pipes that twist oddly across the exterior, nor by the lady who can often be seen playing a didgeridoo on the sloping plaza outside, because inside is one of Paris’ richest cultural centers and modern art museums. The Pompidou’s  six floors offer everything from cinema screenings and exhibitions to special workshops, installations, and concerts.

Right now, anyone who’s anyone has been to see the Pompidou Centre’s exhibition on Spanish surrealist master Salvador Dali. The last time Dali came here was in 1979-1980, and his was the most visited exhibition in the history of the institution. This current show also looks to set some new records, if the length of the queues are anything to go by.

This time around, the organizers have decided to arrange the pieces (painting, sculpture, photography and film) in a more-or-less chronological order. This explains the giant white egg you walk through upon entering the exhibition. It all starts at birth. With Dali, you know you’re in for a quite a ride… Altogether, the exhibition counts over 200 works by Dali:  not simply the paintings we recognize so easily, but also works like Dali’s shocking 1929 film “Un Chien Andalou” with its famous scene of a woman’s eyeball being sliced open (in reality, it was a cow’s eyeball, in case you were wondering.) The selection draws from the collections of the Dali Foundation in Figueres, the Dali Museum in Florida, and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, where the exhibition will move on to after Paris, so you should hurry up and check it out before it ends. If Dali gets his way, you’ll come out the other side feeling quite stunned. I recommend taking a moment to recover, either on the terrace of the top floor, with its beautiful red roses on every table, or by simply taking a few breaths on the top of the escalator and looking out across Paris’ rooftops – all the way north to the Sacre Cœur or west towards the business district La Defense. The view at the Pompidou Centre is stunning (it might even be my favourite), so don’t forget your camera!

Exhibition dates: Through March 25, 2013
Times: 11am – 11pm (except Tuesday)
See the official website

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