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.
Pavilion with surreal scenes
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 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.
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...
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.
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.
Thirty-six years ago, Luna Luna landed in Hamburg, Germany: the world’s first art amusement park with rides, games, and attractions by visionaries like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and David Hockney. By a twist of fate, the park’s treasures were soon sealed in 44 shipping containers and forgotten in Texas—until now.