‘What We Call Love: From Surrealism to Now’ Exhibition Visit, IMMA

‘What We Call Love’ is an art exhibition that explores how the notion of love has evolved within the 20th century. It contains artworks by a wide variety of artist. We really enjoyed seeing the different uses of materials and the different ways in which each artist approached the subject of love.


“I thought that it was a great gallery, even better than the National Gallery in town. Our guide was very informative. I really liked the surrealist painter called Salvador Dali. The burning giraffe was weird. The show was all about the subject of love but it was all very different. The twisted snakes sculpture, by Dorothy Cross, was also a favourite of mine. It was unusually done and totally weird.” – John Yilmaz


‘Lover Snakes’ by Dorothy Cross

“It was a very good exhibition. ‘Kiss’ by Dorothy Cross was a favourite of mine. It was unusual; it was two objects combined in a strange way. I enjoyed the whole lot, from start to finish. It showed me the different ways that people feel about love.” – Cornelius O’Callaghan

“ I enjoyed the day. It was nice the way that everything was laid out. I liked the Salvador Dali piece called ‘Head in the Clouds’. It felt like they were looking at a picture themselves and asking each other’s views on it. I also liked the Andy Warhol video called ‘Kiss’. It was a good demonstration of what love is. The John Lennon pictures were good too. The building, that the show was in, was lovely and everything looked very well in their cabinets.” – Declan O’Neill


‘Head in the Clouds’ by Salvador Dali

“I had a good time. ‘Head in the Clouds’ by Salvador Dali was good. It reminded me of a place that I’d like to go. I also liked the silver wiggle-woggle sculpture called ‘The Couple’ by Louise Bourgeois and the other artwork by Felix Gonzalez-Torres with the two mirrors.” – Patricia Carey


‘The Couple’ by Louise Bourgeois

“There were a few pieces called ‘The Kiss’ or ‘Kiss’ in the show but they were very different to each other. The first artwork titled ‘The Kiss’ by Constantin Brâncuși, looked like two people embracing in a soft way. The second was by Picasso and this looked very different, it was like as if the two people were eating each other. The next piece was by Dorothy Cross and it reminded me of the feeling you get at the dentist.” – Patricia Carey

“I loved the gallery. Our tour guide was brilliant; she told is loads about the art. The boots by Meret Oppenheim was my favourite. I think that she was saying a positive thing about love; like the connection that two people can have.” – Pauline Rush

Here are a few more of the artworks and artists, that stood out to us during our visit.


‘Daphne and Apollo’ by Meret Oppenheim


‘The Other: Rest Energy’ by Marina Abramović & Ulay – Still from a performance (See Below)


‘Passion Bed’ by Dorothy Cross


‘Volvo’ by Ange Leccia


‘Glove’ by Lucy Andrews


‘I’ll Love You Forever’ by Damien Hirst


‘Untitled (Double Portrait)’ by Felix Gonzalez-Torres

‘Untitled (Double Portrait)’ by Felix Gonzalez-Torres was a stack of paper with two gold circles, that touched, printed on them. They were stacked on the gallery floor and we were welcome to take one home. We took one of these posters for our art-room because we felt that it represented an important message of togetherness, solidarity, love and respect for each others individual personalities.


‘High Moon’ by Rebecca Horn

The poem by Rebecca Horn accompanying this piece reads:

High Moon

From the deepest part of the ocean

And the brightest light of the sun

Collected in a pair of identical moon funnels

The full-blown energy of two distinct creatures

Dancing about in abandon

Suddenly face to face with each other

Generating up to their maximum voltage

To meet for a second of equal eternity

Opening their pores and unleashing their bloodstreams

Accelerating each other to the point of near-bursting

Screaming like moon dogs in lost icy nights

When the arrow of Venus taps lightly the funnel

Unleashing the tandem explosion of energies

Transforming the creatures into illuminated fusion

Not missing a drop of each other’s volcanic residue

Flowingly forming a river of passion

Burrowing its way back to the limitless ocean

Bathed in the moon

(Rebecca Horn, New York, 1991)

We really enjoyed seeing this show and felt inspired when we returned to the centre. Here are a few of the sketches that we created, upon our returning to the art room.

‘What We Call Love: From Surrealism to Now’

12 September 2015 – 7 February 2016
IMMA, Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8



© 2016 HSE/EVE

About HSE EVE Estuary

HSE EVE Estuary Centre is part of Eastern Vocational Enterprise (EVE) and is a training centre for individuals with intellectual disabilities based in Lissenhall, Swords, HSE Dublin North East. We provide a quality service to sixty four individuals.

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