Artbeat: weekly arts column

5th October 2001 at 01:00

Withdraw the words "melt", "limb", "hair", "sex" and "tired" from your vocabulary and you've got precious little left to say about Tate Modern's new show, Surrealism: desire unbound . This gargantuan sprawl of an exhibition offers a major historical survey of the Surrealist movement from the 1920s onwards, with emphasis on the erotic imagination.

Many of the classic pieces are here: Duchamp's Mona Lisa postcard with its scribbled moustache and goatee; Man Ray's long-lashed eye, paper-clipped to a metronome; Dal''s "Lobster Telephone"; Meret Oppenheim's furry teacup and saucer. There's also some violent and sexually explicit material (such as Masson's illustrations for the Marquis de Sade's works). This exhibition is emphatically unsuitable for children. Until January 1, 2002. Group tickets from 020 7887 8888. Website:

The Human Body , a large-format film produced in association with the Science Museum, goes on show in IMAX cinemas across the UK from October 13. Based on the BBC's TV series of the same name, the $7-million (pound;4.7-million) film shows a day in the life of a pregnant woman and her family, via their innards. At the Science Museum, London, and the IMAX cinemas in Bradford, Bristol, Glasgow Science Centre, Manchester UCI Printworks and Millennium
Point, Birmingham. Website:

Artist Susan Derges spent a year at Oxford's Museum of the History of Science , exploring the collections and creating work to re-ignite a Renaissance sense of imaginative wonder in science. Inspired by Giambattista della Porta, possibly the first writer to publish popular science books (in 1558), Derges has recreated some of della Porta's alchemical experiments and assembled unlikely juxtapositions of museum objects into cabinets of curiosity. From October 12 at Museum of the History of Science, Broad Street, Oxford until December 15. Website: www.ruskin-sch.ox .ac.uklab

Drawing Distinctions is a broad-ranging exhibition showing 20th century drawings and watercolours from the British Council collection, featuring 80 works from 1910-1995. The exhibition coincides with The Big Draw , a nationwide event to encourage drawing. At Milton Keynes Gallery, 900 Midsummer Boulevard, until November 25. Tel: 01908 676 900. Pre-booking for education events: 01908 558305.

A Baker's Dozen , an exhibition assembled by Quentin Blake at Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, in east London, features drafts and sketches by 13 of the most successful contemporary illustrators of children's books, showing how their ideas for books have developed.
Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2, until November 8. Tel: 020 8980 2415. Website:


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