Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Another day, another museum

You must be starting to think that all we ever do is visit museums.

Well, I guess you're not far from the truth. But the selection of art in Paris is second to none. I don't even want to consider how much all this is worth.

Today's field trip was to the Centre Pompidou, a modern art museum with very modern architecture.

And a great view from the top.

Yep, you can pretty much see the Eiffel Tower from anywhere in Paris.

The first exhibition we went to see was "Dreamlands". Here's the description from the Centre Pompidou website:

From the end of the 19th century until today, with over 300 works, the exhibition "Dreamlands" discusses the growing influence of the amusement park in the city design and imagination. Photographs, installations, films, paintings, drawings, plans and architectural models, film clips: within a spectacular and unprecedented, the first Universal Exhibition in Dubai today, "Dreamlands" explores a dozen themes and places, from Paris to Coney Island, Las Vegas and Shanghai. It emphasizes the "colonization" of ever-increasing real drama and entertainment. From Salvador Dali to Rem Koolhaas, Martin Parr, Andreas Gursky, Urban Utopias in the real architecture, "Dreamlands evokes phenomena which are changing our relationship to the world and geography, time and history, to notions original and copy.

I loved this exhibit. At the risk of sounding like a teenager, it was so cool! I don't think the description does it justice - it was actually a historical look at the creation of artificial worlds, such as fake monuments built for World's Fairs and the original Dreamlands on Coney Island. My favourite part had to have been Salvador Dali's The Dream of Venus, which was a pavillion built for the 1939 World's Fair in New York. You can find more information about it here.

I wasn't aware that we weren't permitted to take photos inside that particular exhibit until I was politely told. The politeness of the request surprised me because I've actually found that the French (or maybe it's just Parisians) live up to their reputation of being rude and arrogant. We have encountered some of the absolute worst customer service while being here. However, I am not allowing that to dampen my enthusiasm. Here's the one photo I managed to take of The Dream of Venus display.

Would you put this sofa in your living room...?

The next exhibition was a collection of feminist art by women. I know the OnlyChild would have loved this - it was right up her alley - but I honestly thought they were all trying too hard. And it's not that I don't get it. I really do. I just don't have an appreciation for some of what I saw as actual art.

This display was neat, though.

I didn't take any other photos there because my camera batteries were dying and I knew there were better things to come.

Somewhat. I'm not the biggest fan of modern art. I like some of it: Dali, Modigliani, some of Picasso's works, Otto Dix, Man Ray photographs, and a few others. But some of it is just weird. Yes, I did just express an opinion on here.

Okay, I'll give you an example. A couple of years ago when I was at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, I saw this piece by Daniel Spoerri:


It's the remains of his girlfriend's breakfast glued to a board and mounted sideways on the wall. Pretty creative.

Today, I saw this:


Very similar but still okay. But, you know what else this artist had on display. You're going to gross out so brace yourself. It was a short film of a girl eating, then going to the bathroom. And it was being shown backwards, so basically her bathroom "products" were going back inside her, then she went backwards out of the bathroom, then she ate. You get the idea. (I was trying to be as delicate as possible in my description.) Is that art? Hmmm...

More of what I saw. I'll keep the descriptions to myself and let you decide:



They had tons of paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Kaminsky, etc. Here are some more recognizable works.

I know I sound a bit dismissive of this kind of work. I don't mean to be - I really enjoyed the Centre Pompidou. In fact, I spent five hours there today! Sandi was wise and told me that she'd meet me back at the apartment whenever I was done. I guess she could have waited for me in the "Forum" under the lobby of the museum. Look at all those couches! What a good idea.

After my brain was full of art work and confusion, I took a walk around the area to see what else was going on. (Of course I did.)

Performers out front of the museum.

A nearby square. I thought the juxtaposition of the modern fountain against the gothic church was interesting.

Street art.

Fun and games outside City Hall where I stopped to go to the post office.

This is Paris's City Hall. Gorgeous. And it has gargoyles!

On my way home I saw a sign that said, Monument des Déportation. I was intrigued so I went in search of it. I don't know if I found it or not, but I did find this:

Can you see the statue? It was in a little park right behind Notre-Dame. It may or may not have been the monument I was seeking - there was no sign - but what a beautiful little spot.

We went out to the Monoprix after supper tonight to pick up a few things for lunch tomorrow. We are going on another field trip - this time to Mont Saint-Michel, which is about 4 hours away from Paris.

We got caught in another deluge. The weather has been pretty crappy here, to be honest. We haven't had a single day that has been sunshine and warm temperatures. It makes me miss the extreme heat and humidity of Italy.

But even rain can't dampen our spirits. It started to pour so we took refuge under the canopy of a café, fully expecting to be asked to move along. The waiter let us stay there and, after a few minutes, we decided to take advantage of the situation and go in for a glass of wine.

So, Cheers! my friends. Here's to another good day in the City of Lights.


Quilting Lab said...

You must be on visual overload by now!! Haha! Some lovely things you've seen---not big on the table art! Enjoy tomorrows adventure!


Hi Rachel,
Rec'd the postcard and Thank You! Love the French stamp on it too.
Keep having FUN!!!
deb :)

cozy quilter said...

Thanks for sharing your trip with all of us back here! I am enjoying your pictures and your descriptions of what you have been up to.

Dogwood said...

Cheers to you my dear friend. You sure are having a fabulous time in Paris!!!! Love all the photos. How are the yummy bakery goods?


Pat said...

I enjoyed seeing the fun and games OUTSIDE the museum! And, of course, I loved seeing another smiling, happy Rachel photo!!! Enjoy the trip tomorrow......sounds like that will be a long day, but I'm sure it will also be a fun day. I hope your weather gets a bit friendlier, too.

Tangos Treasures said...

Oh my great pictures!

Thimbleanna said...

Haha -- Love the title "Another day, another museum" ... you poor, poor dear. The suffering you must endure LOL. I'm with you on a lot of the modern art. I get it too -- I just don't like it. You put it sooo well -- they're trying too hard. Looks like you're having a grand time. Can't wait for the next report!