We sent Paris Collage Collective a selection of photos from our collection, chosen by our photography curator, Athol McCredie. They then chose five for the challenge, and called out for entries Jun–Aug 2021 during the European summer/Aotearoa takurua takuruawinterMāori | noun.
The selected photos
A photo of a hand-cranked concrete mixer from the 1930s. It was chosen as one of five photographs from Te Papa’s collection for Paris Collage Collective members to collage into new images that speak of surrealist dreams.
Without planning it that way, the concrete mixer turned out to be nicely suggestive. Throw some images into it, churn it around, and see what comes out. The result may not seem to make sense, but maybe it does.
Is this how dreams themselves are formed? When we sleep, do neurons ping unprocessed images and experiences around the brain? And does the unconscious then assemble and juxtapose these fragments via opaque rules into the short sequences that seem so potentially meaningful yet baffling to the waking mind?
The collage artist shows us what, for the surrealists, a higher level reality (the sur-real) looks like. It’s a place where everyday rational thinking has to be abandoned for the fantastical logic of the dream.
– Athol McCredie, Curator Photography
Almost 600 people submitted an entry. Paris Collage Collective chose 70 which will feature in a book that they’re publishing. Athol also chose his favourites, which we’ve put together as a slideshow below.