Dream of a woman and a child, and an anaconda lying comfortably on my bed. Told at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, 2nd July 2023.
I am a guest at a summer house with a group of people. In the dream they are my friends, but at the same time I don't know any of them. The dream occurs in two scenes. The first in the living room, where all the people are together and prepare to pack and leave to their homes, but I have forgotten to pack. The second scene takes part in a bedroom. Everybody leaves and I am in the room with a woman and a child. The child is about three years old, the woman might be her mother. I am with the woman and young girl in the bedroom, playing with the young girl. Suddenly, a very large anaconda comes through the brightly lit door into the bedroom. It is striped with brown and green and beige. It looks at me with its long eyelashes revealing the face of a female snake. “She” moves to the bed, where she then lies comfortably, in a spiral. At first, I was surprised, then fearful, thinking it might attack the child, and finally I am calm.
During the discussion of the dream Julia highlighted the words: 'You were born Latin', and 'in Latin my own course', referring to the dreamer saying during the discussion that she was from Latin America and is in the middle of important changes; 'postponement', in reference to the delay in leaving; ‘In my dream I make fun’, in reference to playing with the young girl; 'powerful', referring to the anaconda; and 'female - child – the child - I know will be attacked - was very young', in reference to the fears for the child's safety.
We were very honoured to hold this Dream Salon at Cabaret Voltaire, which was the birthplace of Dadaism in 1916. In that year artists, poets and other literary creatives came to Zurich and to the Cabaret Voltaire to escape from the war. Dadaism then spread to other countries, and led to Surrealism, with the first Manifesto of Surrealism being written in 1924. Our Dream Salon took place in the historical hall of Cabaret Voltaire, where performances such as of Hugo Ball had taken place in 1916, details are here. Photo below is of Julia describing the finished painting and the painting process to the audience, other photos are of the Cabaret building and setting up the dream salon. An article about Hugo Ball, founder of the Dada movement, can be read in The Collector Magazine here. A 1967 short documentary by Greta Deses, presented at the Cannes Film Festival, and with contributions from Max Ernst, Gabrièle Buffet, Marcel Duchamp, Hans Richter and Man Ray, and with a reconstruction of a performance at the Cabaret, can be seen here.
Dr Julia Lockheart