Persistence of Memory - Distinctively Visual

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Persistence of memory

Salvador Dali’s purpose in painting the distinctively visual 'persistence of memory' was to show us a self portrait of the subconscious or a psychological portrait to allow the audience to experience his perception that time itself is endless, but our time is short, thus our preoccupation is absurd.

Dali himself was best known for his surrealist work and was influenced by the 'surrealist manifesto' written by Andre Brenton. Surrealism was a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s; it included elements of surprise, unexpected juxtaposition and non-sequitor. The artists expressed their feelings for the first time rather than painting portraits of people. In Dali's case his 'persistence of memory' is an abstract and almost a nightmare to make the audience appreciate his perception of the subconscious and to make the images distinctively visual. The subconscious part of you is always aware of past experiences, beliefs, and always aware that death is coming, it triggers feelings of fear and anxiety. The subconscious is seen as a different dimension that is half way between sleep and awake. This painting has been seen as a visual depiction of Einstein's theory of relativity which states that time itself cannot be fixed.

The 'persistence of memory' illustrates to the audience that as time goes on our memory can become distorted or empty. Dali shows this by having an abstract face like figure lying on a barrenness landscape with melted clocks to illustrate the running out of time in our world. The figure looks exhausted, almost dying, trying to hold onto time even though it is irrelevant. This proves to the audience that as time passes and has run out, our memory stops persisting and our memories are moved to the subconscious, this being represented by the empty landscape. The painting also depicts four clocks; three of those are facing upwards and pointing to 6:50 which brings back the point of time running out. The fourth clock is...
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