Salvador Dalí's art draws on paranoia. An absolute example is his paranoid-critical method. Through it, the horrifying objects of the subconscious come to life in works of art. Dream symbols take on a new value, transform and shape themselves, often completely losing their original meanings. Paranoia is also an element of the thriller, of which Hitchcock remains the absolute master. Paranoia becomes an image in motion and creates a thrill, a shiver, which is thefoundation of the Hitchcockian film genre par excellence.
Dalí assembles dream symbols and makes them an integral part of his art:among them are snails, emblems of psychoanalysis, with their hard shell and soft interior, thin-legged elephants, crutches, eggs, ants, symbols of death, drawers, giraffes and eyes. Reality and imagination merge and transcend conventional reality, and from this Surrealism is born. Dreamy geographies and oneiric processes are recurring motifs also in Alfred Hitchcock's cinema; not only in Spellbound but also in other masterpieces such as Rebecca and Rear Window.
"The only difference between immortal Greece and the contemporary era is constituted by Sigmund Freud, who discovered that the human body is full of secret drawers that only the psychoanalyst is able to open", these are the words of Salvador Dalí who considered Freud almost a spiritual father. Dalinian art arises from the subconscious and from the inner investigation. The plot of the film is also based on psychoanalysis: the influence of the then-recent World War II, which had made soldiers return from battlefields victims of post-traumatic stress disorder, is the primary source of inspiration.
The Grand Finale of the exhibition is encircled in an extremely emotional moment. Just like the hero of the film, John Ballantyne, who faces a journey of traumatic loss and recovery of memory, the viewer will be confronted with the most intimate psychological reflections. Do we really know who we are? Are the fractures within our psyche part of us or must they be forcibly mended? Spellbound: Scenografia di un Sogno is not a simple exhibition, but a psychological journey with a great impact on the public.