The Brothers Quay are hypertalented stop-motion animators whose incredibly surreal, moody, and macabre work is influenced by Cezch and Polish animators and puppeteers from the early 20th century and writers like Franz Kafka and Belgian playwright Michel de Ghelderode. Parsons the New School for Design in New York City is currently exhibiting set, propos, and characters from the Quays' films. The show, titled "Dormitorium: Film Decors by the Quay Bros.," runs until October 4. Morbid Anatomy's Joanna Ebenstein visited the exhibit last night and took a series of lovely photos that posted on her blog. From her post:
"Dormitorium" is much more than just a collection of props and artifacts; instead, the "décors" you see on view here are something of a revelation, leading one to a greater understanding and appreciation of the Quay Brother's artistry. Having the luxury of time to study these décors in their static state allows the viewer to see things impossible to grasp amidst the thrust and drive of the films; namely, the obsessive and beautiful detail in the source materials. The more one looks, the more one comes to realize that this attention to detail and minutia is what gives the Quay's work so much of its character and mise en scène--at least as much as their lurchy, atmospheric, uncanny stop-motion animation technique. Details such as exquisite and varied typography and calligraphy, a judicious application of dust and grime, the seductively hand-made feel of the materials, and wall hangings, hidden figures, archaic signage and other easy-to-miss details adorning the spaces; of these elements is the Quay's compelling and absorbing universe composed.
"Dormitorium: Film Decors by the Quay Bros. (Morbid Anatomy)
Phantom Museums: The Short Films of the Quay Brothers, a career-spanning retrospective of their films, is available in a two-disk DVD set for $30 from Amazon.