Monday, October 26, 2009

Joyce Mansour with her dog before the war

It was during the surrealist game festival 2007, actually the first morning of the festival, 16/7 2007. I was playing the old Mass-Observation game "dominant image of the day" with myself (just make sure to choose for every day what has been the strongest image that has presented itself to you during that day). The dream brought up another well-known surrealist game, "Before...after" (where two pictures are put next to each other, more or less randomly selected, and interpreted as being one picture of the before and one of the after)

"I open an album of pictures arranged as in the game "Before...after", possibly by Sasha Vlad. One spread has two portraits of Joyce Mansour. The "before" is a well-known image sometimes reproduced in books. But the "after" I have never seen; Joyce Mansour as a teenager (fairhaired, surprisingly), sitting in a rattan chair, comfortably but with a defiant air, dressed in a toga, with a small dog (terrier?) in her lap, attentively but seemingly critically looking to the left, towards what for some reason must be a theatre performance. I don't know why this image is so incredibly beautiful."

(Comment: I half-remember some joker once made a popsong based on a supposedly atmospheric picture of "René and Georgette Magritte with their dog after the war". Now who wouldn't want to make at least a song based on this picture?)

During the following weeks I remember and seek out several different images of Joyce Mansour. While not at all being the two images in the dream, and probably not looking like them at all, I find the idea of having two other images stand in for them satisfactory: the first would be Gilles Ehrmann's portrait of Mansour, the second a "hommage to Joyce Mansour" by our friend Rik Lina. Before and after.


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