I’ve been a bit tardy with my posts lately because not only have I been dealing with jet lag and catching up with friends after our trip, I took about 4500 photos while I was away. It’s taking me an age to deal with all the images. I put all my shots on DVD as I went and I ended up with 28 discs which in turn took over 15 hours to load to my new external hard drive. I’m not complaining, but some things just take a long time.
As I sort through my photos I hope that you forgive me as I toss a few shots your way in a vain hope to keep you amused while I get my house in order.
Yesterday was the last full day we were in Paris and it was the day that fellow blogger, Epicurienne caught the Eurostar over from London for the day to meet up with us before we left.
As a happy coincidence, I’ve been able to make sure that my landmark 500th post could be about my wife and I meeting up with Epicurienne, who like us comes from the southern hemisphere, likes to travel, eat good food (who doesn’t!) and of course is also a blogger.
The plan was that Epicurienne was going to show us around Paris a bit, but it was a little cool and drizzling rain.
The great indoors looked far more appealing so I piped up with, “why don’t we find a really nice little restaurant and have a fabulous meal with some lovely wine and blow heaps of money doing it!”
Epic ruminated upon the question with great deliberation for about a nanosecond and replied, “sounds like a plan!”
So off the three of us went to wander around Ile St Louis on our quest, where we stumbled across an absolute gem of a restaurant called “Sorza”.
The Sorza provided the perfect setting for a day with Epic who often writes about restaurants and the cusine she has had around the world. The food was excellent and the wine that Epic picked was perfect (I know nothing about French wines).
Just like before when I met up with fellow bloggers Cashmere Cafe, Grasswire and Robert in Slovenia, it was remarkable how easy and pleasant it was to talk to Epic. We came to the conclusion that we felt we’d know each other for ages through our blogs which made the conversation so comfortable and fluid.
Also, just like in Slovenia I felt I had met another person that I wish I lived closer to. I would love to cook for Epic some time. I can’t even really begin to describe what a nice day Engogirl and I have had.
To be in Paris on our last day and to spend it with such a delightful and lovely person such as Epic would have been more than good enough, but the icing on the cake was our meal together.
Meeting up with fellow bloggers has been so pleasant that it is something that I’m going to have to do more often. It’s just a pity that Australia is so far away from where the bloggers I read, come from.
Here are some images of art that I really liked from the exhibition of feminine art called “elles@centrepompidou” at the Centre Georges Pompidou that we went to yesterday.
Generally (this is were I whack the hornet’s nest), when ever I hear the term “feminist art”, I think about so many shows that I’ve seen that have been dominated with works dealing with, vaginas, blood and naked artists making statements about how they’re treated as sex objects. I’ve always had a problem with the notion of “feminist art” because I think that if we are all equal then it shouldn’t matter what sex a person is and their work should be judged on its own strengths and not the sex of its producer.
I’ve never liked the idea of victimhood from any group.
And before anyone gets full of righteous rage and wants to start jumping all over my case because I’m a middle aged white guy (the punching bag of choice by the world’s disaffected), all I have to say is, “try growing up as an overweight freckle faced red headed male”. I’ve never seen a poster of a guy like me on any teenage girl’s wall or my type described as the ideal, but yet life goes on and we can’t all be the focus of everyone’s desires and in control of the world.
Having had my little rant and bleat, there are of course many issues faced by women artists, like they are discriminated against and their work is often ignored. While at the exhibition, I gave myself the task of naming female artists and you know what, I could only name about five.
I hang my head in shame.
Having banged on about “feminist art”, the refreshing thing about the elles@centrepompidou exhibition was that the museum was displaying the feminine side of its own collections rather than making just a feminist statement.
The Guerilla Girls make plenty of salient points and combat discrimination with sharp wit and humor. No victimhood here just action.
Alisa Andrasek’s “Biothing” is a beautiful tour de force of applied intelligence.
Adaptive Agent Based Extreme Structures are created using a computer program, not unlike the one Engogirl uses in her work in Computational Fluid Dynamics. As a matter of fact my wife got very excited about Alisa Andrasek’s work and I’m sure that she’d like to meet her and play around with the software she uses.
Niki de Saint Phalle is someone I’ve been aware of for a while, and this work is quite different from most of her work that I’d seen before.
Kristin Backer’s “Passage at section K-P” (2004) acknowledges how structures are so dominant in the landscapes we now live in.
Lee Bontecou’s untitled work (1966) is about sitting on a jet airplane’s wing. I really loved this piece and it’s something that I’d like to own so I could look at it more often.
I’ve saved Helen Frankenthaler’s “Spring Bank” (1974) for last as it was the piece I liked the most.
Engogirl and I went to the Centre Georges Pompidou today as an antidote to going to the Prado a few days ago. We just had to see something that was more expressive than the visual catalogues of possessions owned by the rich and powerful from years gone by, that makes up most of the Prado’s collection. Let’s not even talk about the mountain of stuff with the guy nailed to a cross and his bummed-out friends.
It was just the same thing over and over again.
I’ve never been a fan of the outside of the Pompidou center. It just looks like a industrial plant that has become a little shabby over the years, but some of the interiors are fun. There are sections of the restaurant on the top floor that look as though they were lifted straight out of Kubrick’s “2001, A Space Odyssey” and then crossed with Roger Dean’s designs.
Although the price of the automatic machine produced coffee was scandalously high (a whole family in a developing country could be fed for a week, for what we paid for our two drinks), it was a pretty cool place to hang out in for a while, just to soak up the design ideas.
A short while after we finished our coffee, a staff member came by and sprayed scent on all the roses. No, it didn’t smell anything like roses but the roses themselves were real.
This next shot is of a little bar (not open at the time we were there) that was tucked away in a little bubble-like silver dome structure.
Around the corner from the bar are restrooms, which have to been seen to be believed.
The whole place was mirrored and you can have the dubious pleasure of watching yourself on the can from four different directions……..
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