At the start of the year, we cited that the ambition to revolutionise human experience was at the heart of surrealism. It was a timely discussion as we found ourselves 100 years on since the art movement begun. At the time of writing, we predicted that Surrealism would inspire brand concepts and activations.
In that time, Selfridges launched a storewide campaign, Radical Luxury. The concept mirrored Surrealism’s focus on transient realities of time. Exploring this theme further, the department store collaborated with Google Pixel, to create a brand experience entitled ‘The Flipside at The Old Selfridges Hotel’.
If we cast our minds to André Breton, the author of the Surrealist Manifesto, we can deep dive further into how surrealists were hugely influenced by the subconscious and how they explored ways to suppress it. Thus, automatism, the process of creating art, whereby the artist suppresses conscious control, was born. 100 years later, we found ourselves presented by a modern day example. New York based co-working concept, The Assemblage, offered their clients a Trance Writing Series and an opportunity to create with their subconscious.
Yet, one strand of the art movement we left untapped in our previous dialogue was the rebellious nature of Surrealists. Yes, they questioned and challenged the reality of their time. Their imagination knew no limits. They were unbridled. This was thematic at the Tate’s exploration of British Surrealist Women, hosted by Michel Remy. The surrealists were determined to conjure a new way of living.
Developing this thought further, it is worth drawing inspiration from the Barbican’s Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde. Here, we can find an exploration of artistic couples that established new ways of creating, living and loving. Covering the work of Picasso and Dali, we find ourselves questioning the future of creative and personal relationships.
With this in mind, allow us to return to our opening comment about surrealism; ‘revolutionising the human experience’. From retail, to finance and technology, ‘becoming more human’ is a phrase that is dominating consumer industries. Revolutionising the human experience in the post war Paris was driven by radical minds. And yet, as we navigate the future revolution of our times, what does a modern day rebel look like? Who are the avant-garde of the 21st century?
Veuve Clicquot appeared to have the answer. Launched November 15th for three days, the French champagne house hosted an immersive experience called Rebels. Here, was a space for radical minds. Spanning across four floors, the brand took consumers on a journey to celebrate radical moments in Britain’s music culture, illustrating that retail is prime for catering to a new age avant-garde.
Where product was once paramount, ‘creating experiences’ became king. Yet, how do we top experiences? How can we create experiences that are not only epic for the consumer, but can be a departure point for inspiring future innovations?
Retail can be stage for the curious, a hangout for the non-conformists and platform for tomorrow’s inventors. Brands can be the gateway for establishing new ways of living and creating.
What is clear is that modern day brandscapes have the potential to revolutionise the human experience.
What does a new way of living look like for your consumer? How can your brand revolutionise human experience?
How can the art of rebellion inspire a more creative store experience.