The Magnum Party is always an extravagant and decadent affair, much like the rich Belgian ice cream itself. This year, the party incorporated the flamboyance of Salvador Dali, a Spanish painter who is recognized as the face of the Surrealist art movement of the 20s. Naturally, this means that there were many things going on which were quirky or unusual so we narrowed it down to a few things that were weird/interesting/unusual.
1. “The chocolate man in the chocolate tub”
These are not our words. We overheard a woman say that with delight at the sight of a man sitting in a bath tub filled with chocolate. The man was dark-skinned, much like the chocolate itself. Now, the problem with this is that it would have been less offensive if they hadn’t specifically chosen someone with dark skin. Maybe a man who was actually drenched in chocolate would have been better? This was just borderline racist.
2. Human Sculptures
Walking in from the brown carpet, you entered a space which was designed to look like an art exhibition, with paintings adorning the white walls, a chocolate table filled with all kinds of chocolatey desserts possible, a photo booth in one corner and too many people walking around. However, this makeshift art exhibition also had art installations which were actually real people wearing eccentric costumes. Another performance took place in a corner of the room. “Yeh kya horaha hai?” said one confused guest as he stared at the girl climbing the stairs and walking around, completely aloof of what was going on around her. This performance, titled ‘An ode to parallel realities’ was all about detachment of the self. In a place hustling and bustling with people and colours, this performance achieved what it set out to achieve. It was a world away from the world of the Magnum Party.
3. Ali Xeeshan brought a friend
While his collection itself was not as out there as it usually is, Ali Xeeshan of course left people talking about something. Whether it’s the extravagance of his clothes, or his bleached blonde hair, you know you’re going to get a show from him. Therefore, when the designer made his appearance, there was a rooster sitting on his head. No, not a real one, but an artificial one that was attached to his hat. He walked down the ramp a rooster on his head and an egg on his shoulder and while roosters biologically cannot lay eggs, surrealism does stem from dreams and nightmares and this can be put down to one or the other.
4. Ali Zafar’s chocolate painting
Ali Zafar started off his career as an artist, being an NCA graduate. He went on to sing, dance and act later in his life but his performance at the event brought him back to his roots. In a joint performance with Joshinder Chaggar, Zafar took the stage and caught everyone’s breath when he grabbed a paintbrush, dipped it in chocolate and started to paint a canvas. There was a larger purpose to the performance, of course, but we were happy to see Zafar tap into the artist within and as Quddoos Mirza, sitting next to us quietly commented, it wasn’t bad at all!
5. Nilofer Shahid gave us goosebumps
Of course, nobody expected anything less from this fabulous designer – we just didn’t think we would be confronted with the morbid reality of life and death on such a platform. According to the designer herself, her collection showed the cannibalism of the mind and soul, depicting the struggle of the soul against the animal within. Choosing to interpret some of Dali’s famous paintings through her clothes, Shahid managed to create a stir with her statements. We’re sure everyone felt goosebumps when Nadia Hussain walked out on stage, horns adorned on her head gear, with skeletal remains of a human body trailing behind her, depicting Dali’s Faces of War.