My Child is Dreaming from Mr. Klesha animation on Vimeo. The director says, “When my daughter was born I bought my first diary. In the beginning I was just taking notes of her progress, reactions and likes. Then I began writing about my dreams as well. After two years, I’ve collected all the most beautiful bits to create a video. From such duality, a project called “My child is dreaming” was born. It is an introspective journey full of metaphors and paradoxes that put in contrast the idyllic and enchanted world of children with adults’ dreamlike visions, sometimes a bit pessimistic and obsessive.”
I really like this short film. The interesting imagery, the pastel pinky and somewhat Martian deserted landscape, and the jazzy unsettling music are intriguing. However, to me, the piece does not feel very oneiric. I am not questioning the artist’s creative license or talent. I’m just highlighting the fact that the art is more Surreal than properly oneiric, or so it feels to me.
I’m deeply intrigued by the way artists incorporate dreams and dream images into their art. At the same time, I tend to resent artistic approaches and imagery that remind me of Salvador Dali’s and the Surrealists. Do not take me wrong. I love anything Dali and Surrealism. I also love how Surrealists turned dreams into something subversive and thought-provoking. They explored dreams, the subconscious and the subliminal in ways that were unique and the results were both intellectually thought-provoking and artistically brilliant. Yet, I find Surrealist-inspired dream imagery simplistic in a way because it reduces dreams to a bunch of odd symbols and eerie landscapes.
Most people who pay attention to their dreams would tell you that their dreams, even when they just recall snippets, are rich and deep. Most dream images and dreams are organic psychological ecosystems: multilayered, multicolored, emotionally charged and not always odd. In a way, I find the perpetuation of the Surrealist visual art style, albeit aesthetically pleasing, untrue to the dream. When when isolate a dream symbol, the dream and the symbol lose their power.
Have you ever had dreams that look like a Dali’s painting? I have not. Like the author of this short film, I’ve had dreams with powerful visual symbols, but they are never autonomous images. They are an organic part of the dream whole, connected to the oneiric spaces, characters, feelings/emotions and narrative of the piece.