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MY CULTURAL REVOLUTION
by Salvador DALI
MY CULTURAL REVOLUTION
I, Salvador Dalí, an apostolic Roman Catholic, apolitical to the highest degree and spiritually monarchist, I note with modesty and jubilation that all the enthusiasms of today’s creative youth are united around a single virtue: opposition to the bourgeois culture.
The most beautiful and the most profound cultural revolutions were made without barricades, with the insurrectional violence animating solely the spirit, the master of space and time. It is by an excavating process, quite the opposite of barricades, that we can give to the past a means of getting round into the future. It was a rediscovery of fragments of “antique” sculpture that brought about, in the 16th century, the cultural revolution rightly called the Renaissance. All real cultural revolutions must be in contact with the evolution of a new style. The Louis 14th style, which was the apotheosis of the Renaissance, was ruined by the revolution, which was to give a vilifying power to the bourgeoisie. The spherical architectures of Ledoux, intended for the workers in a lyrical vision of the city, came to be abandoned by the skeptical, rational and functional bourgeoisie.
I bring to the new revolution what is mine: that is, my paranoid method of criticism, uniquely adapted, it seems to me, to the felicitously irrational nature of the events unfolding. In the light of this method, I offer the following suggestions:
The colour of modern cultural revolutions is no longer red, but an amethyst colour, evoking the air, the sky, fluidity. This is the colour that corresponds to a change in era. The age of Aquarius, which will determine the next millennium, will see the disappearance of bloodshed. For the time being, we have just assassinated The Fish [“God is dead!”], and the blue sea is tinted by his blood, giving the waves this amethyst colour.
Bourgeois culture can only be replaced vertically. Culture will be disembourgeoised only by deproletarising society and turning the functions of the mind upward, by redirecting them toward their transcendent and legitimate divine origin. An aristocracy of the mind must emerge . . .
Practically, it is a matter of quantifying the monuments of bourgeois culture. Not destroying them but, by filling them up with new information, modifying their intention. For example, add to the feet of the Auguste Comte statue a shrine to his St. Clothilde, patron saint of humanity according to positivist folly. This shrine would be an amethyst cradle filled with helium, in which would float, by
rote, the most beautiful naked girls in a state of hibernation for the morose delight of voyeur students, providing a respite from their severely and scientifically controlled hallucinogenic experiences.
For the same price l propose to drape public monuments in certain towns with panoplies created by artists who, like Paco Rabane, are capable of celebrating the coming of the Aquarian millennium.
Add a quantum of libido to anti-pleasure organisations such as UNESCO. Make UNESCO a ministry of public Cretinization, so that we will not lose what has already been done. Blend in some laudable folkloric prostitution, but add to it a strong dose of libidinal and spiritual energy. Thus transform this centre of superboredom into a genuine erogenous zone under the auspices of Saint Louis, chief legislator of venal love.
Activation of cybernetic-research commissions for the resurrection and glorification of great thoughts that have fallen victim to materialism. Examples: the combinative wheels of Raymond Lulle, the natural theology of Raymond de Sebonde, the treatise of Paracelsus, Guadí’s architecture of Mediterranean Gothic inspiration, Francesco Pyiols’ hyperaxiology, Raymond Roussels’ anti-Jules Verne poetics, the theoreticians of traditional mystical thought, all those who are genuinely inspired. Do not desecrate their unworthy tombs. Dig them up and bury them anew, but in the most sumptuous of futuristic mausoleums, imagined by Nicolas Ledoux.
Where the cultural revolution takes place, the fantastic should sprout up.
Paris, Saturday, May 18, 1968.