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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:28

Video transcript

[Music] we're in the Museum of Modern Art looking at an early Giacometti Giacometti is known best for his tall thin bronze sculptures or his eraser drawings most of which were made after the Second World War but before that he was involved with surrealism and we know that the Surrealists are interested in the unconscious I feel like I'm looking at a dreamscape this is a house but it's not a house we have forms that seem to defy gravity I'm looking at that form in the center where a ball seems suspended on this sled like shape it just reminds me of the irrationality of dreams this is called the palace at 4:00 a.m. and so this is that interior space of the dream that's made into a stage set and it's so frail it seems as if the architecture could be made and unmade we constructed at a moment's notice the way that space is so easy to reconstruct in the dream or the way that you might construct something with child's toys and then take them apart and rebuild something well this is a game the woman that seems like such a maternal figure on the lower level is as if she's the queen in a chess set what makes her look so mature not the way that she's been very upright very erect almost like a super-ego looking over the palace it for him and although she has a cinched waist she's really been desexualized in that her skirt goes all the way to the floor there is a sense of the matron and so immediately my instinct is to read this through a Freudian lens because these are the ideas that the surrealist were so involved with the idea of the unconscious the idea of releasing the dangerous but creative quality that we repressed during the day during our waking State we've interpreted that female figure someone instructing you about what should be done that voice of your unconscious but we have other forms here - we have vulture like creature who flies above have almost pterodactyl like some sort of primordial creature and similarly with the vertebrae or the tail bones that we see in the Box to the right but the thing that I have always been most fascinated by in this sculpture is the suspended plane of glass it creates a drawn plane in this space so if this were not on a high pedestal we would be able to look down through that glass and this space below would be revealed through it something that you weren't allowed to see or wouldn't normally expect to see you would have more of a feeling of being foyer voyeurism makes sense to me because there's also a sexual aspect here you mentioned that ball in the center which is framed against a flat board but there's also this very sensuous hollowed form and that ball that could move easily up and down it but we also have a sense of rigid geometry that that form break these are matchstick this is handmade this is all frail it's all fragile it could all be disassembled or could break so easily and in that sense and it's a beautiful echo of the fragility of the interior self and the ephemerality of our dreams and the inability to come to terms with our unconscious to really grasp it and understand it [Music]