Roland Topor blowing smoke from his tobacco pipe while in front of a sculpture scene from his Luna Luna Park Pavilion.

Roland Topor

Roland Topor’s contribution to the 1987 Luna Luna park was the face covered pavilion with surreal scenes

Roland Topor designed a nightmarish attraction for Luna Luna, its façade covered in illustrations of distorted faces. Inside, viewers encountered surreal scenes soundtracked by mating whales.

Artist

Roland Topor

Attraction

Pavilion with surreal scenes

Born

1939, France

Topor is best known for his darkly comic illustrations of absurd scenarios

He co-founded Mouvement panique (“Panic Movement”), a class of performance art that attacks the audience with a barrage of sound and movement

Roman Polanski’s cult classic psychological horror film The Tenant (1976) is based on a novel by Topor of the same name

Roland Topor and André Heller.

Roland Topor, Façade for pavilion with surreal scenes, exhibited, 1987.

Roland Topor achieved cult status for his macabre cartoons, novels, plays, film and television scripts, and performances. He first gained notoriety for his illustrations published in the subversive French magazine Hara-Kiri, the precursor to Charlie Hebdo, a publication known for its anti-religious discourse.

Roland Topor.

With dark, scatological humor, Topor depicted exaggerated versions of the things hidden from everyday life; his drawings, which depict absurd situations juxtaposing people, animals, plants, and objects, are associated with Surrealism. Works such as Disheveled Thoughts (1967), a black-and-white drawing of a woman slicing her brain like a block of cheese or butter, or his 1968 recasting of Cinderella as a nude woman holding a slipper that doubles as her genitals reflect his fascination with society’s neuroses and fantasies.

With dark, scatological humor, Topor depicted exaggerated versions of the things hidden from everyday life...

Roland Topor, Interior of pavilion with surreal scenes, exhibited 1987.

Roland Topor, Interior of pavilion with surreal scenes, exhibited 1987.

In 1962, with artists Fernando Arrabal and Alejandro Jodorowsky, Topor formed the Mouvement panique (“Panic Movement”), staging chaotic happenings involving actions like slitting the throats of geese or attaching snakes to their chests. Topor simultaneously wrote several novels, the most famous of which, Le Locataire Chimérique (“The Tenant”) (1964)—chronicling a man’s descent into paranoia—was adapted into a film by Roman Polanski.

Roland Topor, Pavilion with surreal scenes, exhibited 1987.

Topor designed a nightmarish attraction for Luna Luna, which featured a façade covered in graphic, black-and-white illustrations of male characters making distorted faces. Inside, viewers were confronted with surreal scenes, including a man with a colony of worms sprouting from his face, accompanied by a soundtrack of mating whales.

Fairground view: Roland Topor, Pavilion with surreal scenes. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

Fairground view: Roland Topor, Pavilion with surreal scenes. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

Discover more about your favorite artists and attractions

In the original Luna Luna book, translated and reissued for the first time since 1987.