Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor Who explains Surrealism in latest Tate Unlock Art film

By Richard Moss | 24 April 2014

We’ve had the sci-fi Hamlet - now it's time for sci-fi Surrealism as Doctor Who tells us all about art for Tate

A picture of a man with grey hair in a gallery
Peter Capaldi brings a Time Lord's intensity to the history of art© Tate
His past and future familiarity with the mind-bending complexities of time travel, astro-physics and Daleks has evidently put Doctor Who in a good place to grapple with the contradictory principles of dream and reality found in Surrealist art.

Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor is Tate’s latest recruit for its series of Unlock Art films, which seek to introduce art movements as varied as Pop and Performance Art.

For Exploring the Surreal, Capaldi spends time on the psychoanalyst’s coach pondering how Freud’s ideas about psychoanalysis and the unconscious mind shaped the Surrealist movement, before making Tardis-style appearances besides works by some the key players including Miro, Ernst and Dali.

Of the latter’s Lobster Telephone he says: “It’s about food and sex.”

The wry exploration moves swiftly onto how the movement’s playful yet sometimes disturbing nature impacted contemporary culture and society; from art and theatre through to pop, humour and even politics.

The five-minute film, which has been developed for Tate as part of a deal with Le Méridien Hotel and Resorts, can be seen below. 

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