Today is your last day to see Dormitorium, an exhibition of interior sets from films by the Brothers Quay, on display now at Parsons in New York City. Dormitorium, we read, “explores the macabre fantasy world of twin brothers Stephen and Timothy Quay through the highly detailed miniature sets of their influential stop-motion animations.”
The dean of academic programs at Parsons adds:
This exhibition gives our students an opportunity to see how the Quay brothers create intricate fantasy worlds, from set design to finished film through their compelling engagement with literature, their command of sound and lighting design, their uncanny use of focus, color and texture, as well as their mastery of digital editing processes.
The show is open till 6pm today, and you can find more info here.
Tangentially, I am reminded of an article from the most recent issue of Mark Magazine about the models and dioramas of Ronan-Jim Sevellec. Sevellec explains the making of his miniature boxed scenarios to Mark:
The first phase of my work consists of setting together a certain number of elements. That may be furniture or scenery items, but it’s mostly insignificant and mostly at random. This is my way of setting traps to catch images of latent inner dreams. A really accurate picture of what my efforts will finally result in remains unclear to me. It does reveal itself, but only progressively, until the day I realize that nothing more is to be added. At that moment, I make up my mind and seal the front with a glass panel.
While I could perhaps do without the “latent inner dreams” to which Sevellec refers, his basic idea of timing – that there is an intuitive moment at which a created miniature world has reached a state of completion – is a compelling one.
You hit a certain point at which you can seal off a microcosm and move on.
Finally, how much do I love the use of the word “dormitorium” in the Quay Brothers’ exhibition title? What would normally refer simply to university housing becomes an extraordinary codeword for a laboratory of sleep.
(Thanks to Ed Keller for the tip!)