Asparagus: An Erotically Surreal Dream inside Pandora’s Box

Asparagus: An Erotically Surreal Dream inside Pandora’s Box

Asparagus is a stunning animated short film created by Suzan Pitt, a matted-cel work that film critics have hailed as a visionary masterpiece and one of the most lavish and wondrous animated short films ever made.  Asparagus is the now classic film that assured Pitt’s reputation as a major American animator.  After taking four years to make, Asparagus, completed in 1979, won awards around the world, including First Prize at the Oberhausen Film Festival in Germany and awards at Ann Arbor, Baltimore and Atlanta Film Festivals in the United States.

Pitt went on to produce a number of other animated projects, as well as to design the first two operas to include animated images for the stage (Damnation of Faust and The Magic Flute) in Germany.  In addition, she created large multimedia shows at the Venice Biennale and at Harvard University.  A former Associate Professor at Harvard University, Pitt has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Fellowship and three production grants from the National Endowment of the Arts.  She presently teaches in the Experimental Animation Program at the California Institute of the Arts.

Asparagus is designed like a Pandora’s box, opening up visions into the depths of a woman’s inner world, merging sensual and surrealistic imagery conceived in the form of a Freudian dream.  Its mythical visual narrative and dreamscape focuses on erotic metaphors and intellectual references that reflect a thoughtful manner of artistic creativity deeply imbued with the vital nexus between formal experimentation and the exploration of the obscure, dark forces that lurk behind human psyche and praxis.

Defying analytic efforts since the 1980s, Asparagus, arguably Pitt’s finest work, is a deeply symbolic reflection on issues of female sexuality, art and identity, and that’s probably as far as one can go.  The visual narrative is as lavish and vibrant as it is elusive and hermetic, and Pitt’s claim that Asparagus was not designed with an intention to be reflected upon but rather to be emotionally experienced seems reasonable in the face of immense interpretive difficulties raised by the struggle between its unstoppable flow of onirical but culturally familiar imagery, as well as our equally untamed desire for exegetical decomposition.

Asparagus: An Erotically Surreal Dream inside Pandora’s Box

Slide Show: Asparagus/An Erotically Surreal Dream in Pandora’s Box

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

Please Share This:


%d bloggers like this: