'Watch Me Move: The Animation Show,' now exhibiting at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, is almost absurdly ambitious. Organizers of the show, the largest of its kind in history, have attempted to showcase not a movement, not a genre, not even a medium, but the entire artistic genealogy of animated imagery.
From Walt Disney to Matt Groening to Tim Burton to Jan Švankmejer to Hayao Miyazaki, the show is not concerned so much with unifying its diverse styles as it is with immersing visitors in all the possibilities. And those are only the most famous of the artists on the bill. It is difficult, in fact, to even attempt to summarize the exhibition, except to say that it's part zoo and part library, and that leaving and returning to reality at the end must be a powerfully disorienting experience.
In the slideshow below, we present a few shots of the exhibition. As tantalizing as these may be, they can hardly do justice to the range of works displayed, let alone to each piece's content. For that, you'll have to visit the Barbican.
'Watch Me Move: The Animation Show' runs through September 11, 2011 at Barbican Art Gallery, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS. The full list of artists, film-makers and studios whose work is represented can be found below the slideshow.
Artists: Alexandre Alexeieff, Francis Alÿs, Martin Arnold, Ralph Bakshi, Jiří Barta, J. Stuart Blackton, Patrick Bokanowski, Christian Boltanski, Walerian Borowczyk, Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer, Quay brothers,Tim Burton, Segundo de Chomón, Emile Cohl, Walt Disney / Walt Disney Studios, Nathalie Djurberg, Viking Eggeling, Jules Engel, Harun Farocki, Cao Fei, Oskar Fischinger, Dave Fleischer, Max Fleischer, Ari Folman, Matt Groening, Halas & Batchelor, Hanna-Barbera Productions, Ray Harryhausen, Cecil M. Hepworth, Igloo, Chuck Jones / Warner Bros, William Kentridge, John Lasseter / Pixar, Caroline Leaf, Ang Lee, Fernand Léger, Ruth Lingford, Lumière brothers, Len Lye, Étienne-Jules Marey, Kenzo Masaoka, Winsor McCay, Norman McLaren, Georges Méliès, Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli, Frank and Caroline Mouris, Eadweard Muybridge, Yuri Norstein, Willis O'Brien, Noburo Ofuji, Julian Opie, Mamoru Oshii / Masamune Shirow, Katsuhiro Otomo, Nick Park / Aardman, Parker and Stone, Pixar Animation Studios, Lotte Reiniger, Charles-Émile Reynaud, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Bob Sabiston, Marjane Satrapi, Semiconductor, Harry Smith, Percy Smith, Steven Spielberg, Ladislas Starewitch, Pat Sullivan / Otto Mesmer, Jan Švankmajer, Hideki Takayama / Toshio Maeda, Paul Terry, Osamu Tezuka, Franciszka & Stefan Themerson, Toei Animation, Jim Trainor, Ryan Trecartin, Jiří Trnka, Stan Vanderbeek, Kara Walker, Wan Brothers, Tim Webb, Richard Williams, Run Wrake and Zhou Xiaohu