Pablo Picasso

at the opening of Picasso's play Desire Caught by the Tail

at the opening of Picasso's play Desire Caught by the Tail


In winter 1941, soon after the Germans occupied Paris, in three days Picasso wrote a playscript in French titled "Desire Caught by the Tail". However, it was only in 1944 that the play was read for the first time in Paris, at Michel Leiris's apartment. It was read by Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Valentine Hugo, Raymond Keno and Picasso himself. The play was staged by Albert Camus.

"Surrealistic" and "just weird", as the critics called it, this play is quite rarely staged due to its complete obscurity and abstractness. Take the names of the main characters alone: Big Foot, Onion, Round End, two Bow-Wows, Silence, Fat Anguish, Skinny Anguish and The Curtains. The narration is non-direct and the plot can hardly if at all be interpreted in clear terms and notions. Among ardent opponents of the artist's works who consider many of his paintings as mockery and ridicule at the viewer, this play is just another proof in the collection of evidence.

Trailer for the LASALLE Art School performance (Singapore), 2011

Authors' comment: "This interpretation is conceived as an installation-performance, welcoming the spectator to take a trip to where desire arises from direct physical sensations, such as: touches, sounds, tastes, smells and visual imagery.

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