In Buñuel’s footsteps

I’m going to be in Toledo all next week attending the Conecta European TV networking event, and sticking around a couple of days afterwards for a little city break which will probably involve bicycles at some point.

When I mentioned to my friend Svitlana that I was going there, she told me the city was beloved by Luis Buñuel. A little digging, and it turns out before the Spanish Civil War, when they were all alive and on speaking terms, Buñuel, Dalí and Lorca visited Toledo and, “fascinated by the mysterious air it gave off,” were moved to invent their own semi-satirical religious order/artists collective, the Order of Toledo. More about it in this article by Roberto Majano.

The principle activity of the order was “to wander in search of personal adventures” and the induction ceremony was to be stranded alone in the darkness of Toldeo at the toll of the 1am bell. This reads to me very much like a precursor to the Situationist activity of dériving around Paris. Perhaps Guy Debord drew inspiration from Buñuel?

Bonus anecdote: Buñuel hired a sex worker in the city, not apparently for sex, but in order to hypnotise her, because surrealist research doesn’t have to answer to ethics committees.

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