Salvador Dali - Lobster Telephone
I have admired this photograph for ages, and have decided to use it as the starting point for my coursework project on sound. The ‘lobster telephone’ is from Salvador Dali’s collection of surrealist photos and stood out to me because of the bright orange colour and extreme randomness. What I find inspiring about it is the use of contrasting colour and vintage-looking objects.
Lobsters and telephones had strong sexual connotations for Dali, and he drew a close link between food and sex. He made Lobster Telephone for Edward James, an English collector who was the most active patron of Surrealist artists in the 1930s. When showing this photograph to some of my friends, they noticed the sexual promiscuity of the piece, making the photograph successfully communicative. The shot and story behind it conjures up an image of an aphrodisiac and the photo inspires me to carry on a ‘food and technology’ set of images.
The bright colour of the lobster is definitely eye catching but doesn’t distract us from the unexpected conjunction (of the lobster paired with the telephone) which Dali desired. We are immediately drawn to the lobster, but when analysing further, I am also drawn to the wire and shadow created by the still life.
In response to Dali’s Lobster Telephone, I will photograph other communication devices which make sound (such as radios, televisions, musical instruments etc.) surrounded by simple backgrounds of plain colours. Including food in my photographs will definitely give them another dimension, and will also respond more successfully to Dali’s work, but I need to give more thought to what food I would photograph, and how it would link to my communication devices.