An Enormously Tiny Bit of a Lot. Meret Oppenheim's Dreams and Metamorphoses

"Freedom isn't given to you – you have to take it."
Meret Oppenheim

 Without me anyway

Without me

Anyway without way I came near without bread

Without breath but withkin with Caspar
With a cake so round through somewhat square
But without growth of grass with scars with warts with fingers
With sticks with many Os and few Gs
But an enormously tiny bit of a lot
Oh fall you down into your hole oh bury you yourself
And your longwinded hope
Give your ego a kick give your id its reward
And whatever is left of you fry it like little fishes in oil 
You can peel off your shoes

Meret Oppenheim, 1976

"I am a swaddled child, swaddled in an iron grip." Those are the words of Meret Oppenheim at the end of a crisis that lasted almost two decades after the overwhelming success of her work Le déjeûner de fourrure (Breakfast in Fur) that catapulted her to  the status of a myth at the yong age of 23. Once the muse and the object of creativity of men -- she served as a model to Man Ray for a series of photographs entitled Erotique voilée, she still had to undergo their disparagement and  the shrinking of her self by their use of diminutives. Max Ernst had written on the invitation to the opening of the exhibition: "Who covers a soup spoon with luxurious fur? Little Meret. Who has outgrown us? Little Meret." Her father often repeated her that "Women have never done anything in art." She needed all the impetus she put in her work to free herself from men's projections.  


2013 célèbre le centième anniversaire de la naissance de Méret Oppenheim. Plusieurs grandes expositions lui rendent hommage.

Les étincelles de Méret. Les surréalismes dans l'art contemporain Suisse

19.10.2012 - 10.02.2013

Meret Oppenheim

21.03.2013-14.07. 2013


Meret Oppenheim - Above the trees

20.02. 2013 - 05.05. 2013

1 Meret Oppenheim  in a paper jacket she created, 1976, source unknown 
2 Meret Oppenheim, The Fur-lined Teacup Photograph Man Ray, 1936
Meret Oppenheim, My governess, sculpture, 1936
Meret Oppenheim, The Couple, 1956
Meret Oppenheim, Self-portrait X ray of M. O.'s skull, 1964
6 Meret oppenheim, Table with Bird’s Legs, 1939 

For further reading I recommend the catalogue Meret Oppenheim Retrospective "an enormously bit of a lot", Hatje Cantz, 2007. Very illuminating.

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