The most important early formal display of Surreal Things was the exhibition Surrealist Objects at the Galerie Charles Ratton in Paris in May 1936. In terms of display it was meant to be suggestive of the department store with its ambiguous psychodynamic of women consuming and being consumed, but looking back at the photographs, it resembles nothing quite so much as a novelty gift shop in a mall. Still, here were assembled some of the great Surrealist objects. Salvador Dalí showed his Aphrodisiac Dinner Jacket with shot glasses attached next to a bottle of crème de menthe containing an advertisement for a push-up bra. And in each little glass was floating a dead fly. Visitors were encouraged to top them up and take a drink through the supplied straws, making the viewer an integral part of the artwork.
According to Dalí’s instructions, this jacket (on which the Saint Sebastian‘s arrows have been replaced by glasses filled with the mentioned liqueur, supposedly a mild aphrodisiac) was to be worn only “during certain promenades late at night, or in very powerful cars going very slowly (in order not to spill the liquid in the glasses.)”