Words on Persistence of Memory


Persistence of Memory

As time ticks by and melts
Into the fabric of our lives
We are etched into existence
Through a space we can’t define
From the pathways that we take
And cross along the way…
We leave footprints in the past
That return to us today…
through the
Persistence of Memory!

© debradml (2013)



The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali was well known as a surrealist painter- often times waking up in the middle of the night to paint what he saw in his dreams. Rumor has it that he ate some soft cheese right before bed and that’s what inspired the melting clocks.

“Dali sometimes referred to his paintings as “hand-painted dream photographs” and The Persistence of Memory can certainly be characterized as such.The drooping pocketwatches possibly suggest the irrelevance of time during sleep. In other words, when we are asleep, or not conscious, the time does not persist, only memories do. This distortion of time can be easily observed by just about anyone who ever attempted to think about their own dreams.Some art historians theorize that the painting may be a visual depiction of the idea behind the Einstein’s theory of relativity: that time itself is relative and not fixed. But that’s quite possibly a shot in the dark. The painting’s meaning strongly suggests psychoanalytical values, those to do with the research of Sigmund Freud. Dali himself hasn’t shown much interest in painting from science until after World War II, when the Hiroshima atomic bomb made an impression on him and began nuclear (or ‘atomic’) period of his work, in which the painter focused on adding elements to his paintings that suggested atomic composition of what is known as matter. This can be further acknolwdged by another painting Dali painted later in his life called The Disintegration of The Persistence of Memory (oil on canvas, c. 1952 to 1954), where he literally takes the contents of this painting apart suggesting the end of the importance of psychoanalysis, which is replaced by the knowledge of subatomic particles, a concept that supersedes psychology as a higher form of existence.”



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