Capturing movement has always fascinated the human mind. The phenomenon of conveying motion through drawing and other devices has been one of our primary concerns since primitive times. Early Zoetrope devices in Eastern cultures and flip books were signs of early popular animation. However, it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that animation took a different turn, thanks to the advent of photography and cinema.
The rise of cinematographic devices gave animation the ability to create great possibilities in which our unconscious fantasies could be represented. It is on this basis that the Barbican Centre presents this season, the largest exhibition ever put together to show the full range of animated imagery made in the history of cinema.
…this exhibition shows how filmmakers have inspired one another throughout history.
The exhibition brings together highly influential figures in the animation world, such as Hanna Barbera, Walt Disney to the creations of renowned commercial studios alongside the work of underground filmmakers and contemporary artists including Etienne-Jules Marey, Nathalie Djurberg and Jan Svankmajer. The show has carefully been divided into seven interrelated themes to immerse the visitor into a surreal world of fantasy.
From the Lumière Brothers in 1895 to Melies and Willis H. O’Brien’s 1915 fantasy film The Dinosaur and The Missing Link to Steven Spielberg’s 1994 adventure film Jurassic Park and Ang Lee’s Hulk, this exhibition shows how filmmakers have inspired one another throughout history, allowing its creators to represent complex personalities as well as to tackle the social and political aspects. In this show, animation is placed as the cultural phenomenon of twentieth first century. Through the employment of a variety of techniques and styles, it is the interrelation between our reality and inner worlds.
Watch me Move: The Animation Show is a celebration to such interrelation; the constant fascination with the moving image. Fables, folk tales, characters and the inner world merge together to underline the importance of animation as a device that carries out the reflections of the human mind.
The Animation Show is running at the Barbican Art gallery until 11 September alongside a variety of events related to the theme.