Carousel Horse

Carousel Horse


Roger Parry

(French, 1905-1977)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 22.5 x 16.8 cm (8 7/8 x 6 5/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2007.151



A number of Surrealists photographed carousels, perhaps because of their innate surrealism: petrified animals are impaled and doomed to travel in the same circle without ever arriving. Parry photographed this horse to illustrate a deluxe version of Banalité (Banality), a book of poems and prose pieces by the Surrealist writer Léon-Paul Fargue. The poet reminisces about a contentious childhood competition in which he and his friends, pretending to be soldiers, won prizes by hooking rings onto lances as they rode. Parry’s empty, immobile horse suggests not the joy of childhood games but instead the losses imposed by the passage of time.

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