AboutThe new exhibition at news of the world provides a space for the audience to pass time playing cards with the gallery staff.
The set of cards le jeu de Marseille- was designed collectively by Brauer, Breton, Dominguez, Ernst, Herold, Lam, Lamba and Masson as they waited in Marseille -along with Duchamp, Peret, Levi Strauss and others-, 1940-1941, for visas to escape Europe for America. This episode will be seen by some as marking the terminal decline of surrealism, whilst others see their migration as a catalyst for experiment in American art.
The immersive disengagement required by card playing, a gap the mind makes, an economically unproductive time, echoes the surrealists' refusal to engage in the world conflict, when engagement would mean allegiance to a party or to despised institutions, and therefore ethical compromise.
The Jeu de Marseille was designed to change symbolic representation, not to enact change itself. Ending the persistent societal values in a deck of cards, Kings, Queens and subaltern Jacks become Sirens, Genius and Magicians. Reflecting the essence of the surrealists' interest in language, the hidden, chance and poetry and the creation of new modern mythologies, the four suits are replaced by love, knowledge, dream and revolution.