the last visible dog (intertext) wrote,
the last visible dog

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A Postcard Paris Day

Another day of a little bit of everything. I got up fairly late, popped down to the Monoprix for weekend groceries then headed out. I went to my favourite part of Paris, Ile Saint Louis, for coffee, then headed towards the Marais, where I went to La Maison Europeene de la Photographie. There were several major temporary exhibits showing, the first of which was Richard Kalvar, "Terriens," very provocative and sometimes amusing black and white street shots from primarily Paris, New York and Tokyo.

My favourite gallery was "Trash." Let me tell you how I encountered it.

At first glance, this was a collection of large composed pictures of ... yes, trash. Discarded chip bags, empty pop bottles, dog food tins, shopping bags, all kinds of stuff, arranged artistically in frames about 4 x 3 feet large. I have to confess that I'm not a big reader of museum or gallery information boards. Even less when they're in French. So, anyway, I go up and look at one of these, thinking, okay, this is interesting, and I like the way they've laid out the stuff kind of thematically and in a nice design. So, I look at the title of the first one; it's "Ronald Reagan." And I look at the stuff and think "hmmm. Is this supposed to represent Ronald Reagan in some way? Hmmm. It's interesting, but I don't think I quite get it." Then I look at the next one, and it's called "Charlize Theron," and all of a sudden, I get it. This is actually Charlize Theron's garbage. And I went back to the introduction and from what I can understand of the French, this was a project where two guys, an anthropologist and an artist, got together and literally sifted through the garbage of the rich and famous and the pieces are the result of this. It was fascinating, in a strangely voyeuristic way. I felt somehow guilty for feeling fascinated, but it was amazing what artifacts of a life each of these pieces was, and how characteristic it was. Charleze Theron's was bags from posh clothing stores, and cigarettes, and the wrapping from nicotine patches, and a letter congratulating her on her Oscar nomination. This was not the only time I felt sad for the sender of some of these messages that ended up in the trash... I can't detail all of them, but suffice it to say that each - Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, Elizabeth Taylor, and more - was somehow revealing and characteristic of the person it represented.

So then I headed back to the Ile Saint Louis, where there was an exhibit of original artwork connected with "Persepolis - you know, the graphic novel? Well, apparently they've made an animated film which is showing at Cannes, and this was an exhibit of art from the film or connected with it. I nearly bought a limited edition print and shall probably regret not doing so (I could, still), only because I couldn't think how I would get it home (they were framed).

Then I went and bought a glace (blackcurrant and mango) from Berthillon, which supposedly has the best ice cream in Paris - it was wonderful, more like gelato than ice cream. This, I ate strolling through the streets and then on the banks of the Seine. I stopped and sat down for quite a while on the Seine, looking at Notre Dame, which viewed head-on looked remarkably like a space-ship, or something in a Miyazaki film.

Then I headed across the river to the St Germaine des Pres district again. I found a shop specializing in comics and Manga and bought a graphic novel version of Proust (!!) and an Herge marque page, and a little plastic figure of Snowy in a space suit. I then strolled up the Blvd St Germaine and was thinking of going to the Bon Marche, but was too tired, so I came home. And here I am.
Tags: memories, paris, trip

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