Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Burgled Twice!

This morning as the kids and I were getting into the car to go to school, I discovered that someone broke into our car and stole our beloved and very helpful GPS! I cried the whole way to the kids school but am trying to keep my chin up. They did not break the window or damage the car and again, we are all okay. Will file the police report tomorrow so that Peugot may cover it through our rental insurance. Still looking for receipts......I am worn out and frazzled, unnerved.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More from Yesterday

I forgot to upload these photographs from yesterday's LeCorbusier adventure. Here is the exterior view of Orion - the black dots are glass tube windows that illuminate an unbelievable constellation inside (see yesterday's post):

Guthrie in Corbusier's theatre in the House of Culture -
Harper happy to be in Corbu's theatre on stage -

Corbu kids....
Stadium grass -
Harper straddling the line in the stadium. You can see the church in the background.
Corbusier's theatre seating -

Sunday, April 25, 2010

LeCorbusier's Firminy Site

Prelude: here is Guthrie proudly holding up his "self-portrait" assignment, due tomorrow, the kids' first day back to school after 2 weeks of spring vacation. "We" did a collage and he wrote about himself: "My name is Guthrie. I am 7 years old. I love animals and my mommy, daddy and Harper. I want to end war and be a peacemaker. I want to be an inventor. My dad is an epidemiologist (a scientist) and my mom is an artist. That's why I want to be a creative inventor. I went to Switzerland and got my second pocketknife. I play the piano and do Tae Kwon Do.....The End."

Today we drove an hour to Ferminy-Vert to see Le Corbusier's last project before he died, a model community with a stadium where people were throwing javelins, housing complexes, public swimming pool and a spectacular church. My sister Madeleine and I visited the remarkable one at Ronchamp over 10 years ago and this one is its equal. Ferminy was once a mining town and you can still feel the historical labor force there. Here is the website for the Ferminy LeCorbusier experience:

And here are a bunch of photographs from my new Nikon D300s, using my new euro=MacBook Pro to uplaod them - enjoy! Here is my super family on the walkway out of the "Cultural Building" where we had to buy tickets to the church, towards the stadium:

Arriving at the Church, eglise St. Pierre....
Corbusier's housing complex:

The Cultural Building:
Corbusier bench
Housing complex seen through the church's foundation:
The first photograph taken upon walking into this futuristic and spectacular church interior and looking straight up. We all gasped.
One of the skylights with part of the Orion constellation of lights seen to the right. Orion shines above the altar:

Even the pews glowed....I channeled Wolfgang Laib, James Turrell and Paul Virilio's bunker photographs...
The red and yellow and green and blue glowing windows are simply glowing because they are painted prinary colors and the incoming lights illuminates and reflects off the colors. It is quite magical. The kids thought they were colorful because they were stained glass.

Loving Modernism and wishing Robert Blanchon were still alive to be there with me. They did not have candles to light inside the church so I hummed Barry White in his honor instead.
The film viewing room in the church's museum basement:
A view of the church from the piscine, public swimming pool that was closed when we went over to look at it = c'est dommage.
a perfect harmony...
Harper in the church.

Here is a full view of the constellation of Orion lights that glow above the altar. They are glass tubes that penetrate the thick cement....
Self-portrait in the bathroom, waiting for Harper....
Corbu kids =

An archival photograph of Corbusier with some priests discussing construction and design plans -
Exterior detail of Corbu's apartment building reflected in the church window =

My new stockings and garter belt at our little picnic of ham and tuna sandwiches on a curb beneath a glorious pink tree -
Harper and her popsicle in front of this crazy image of a woman with square lips that we see all over town =
The glorious pink tree we sat under for lunch -
A circle in the road at Corbusier's church -

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Crazy France

I am typing this on my spanking new MacBook Pro laptop with a EURO keyboard. FNAC, where we bought it, will not refund the money, nor are they allowed to import/sell U.S. keyboards. They were extremely rude to David when he went to try to exchange/return it. I have nifty handmade letters taped to the keys and David has programmed it to a U.S. keyboard and installed all my software. He is the best. My new Nikon D300s is actually better than my previous camera and the video mode is pretty cool. I understand more about it than I did my previous camera. I had MJ Sharp = bless her soul - help me set the whole camera up last time but this time, i followed the book and did it myself! David brought home a handy computer lock cord... Hoping the robbers do not return....

Meanwhile, it is a glorious day here in France = bright blue skies, blooming westeria and lilacs, a perfect breeze and temperature. Harper has a horrible cough and cold and bug bites all over her face. Guthrie has a bad rash (perhaps the same odd pox Harper had before?) and big red welts from scratching mosquito or spider bites! I made an enormous pot of chicken soup for dinner with figs, dates, raisins, bouquet garni, rice, lemons, herbs, garlic, onions, peppers....we ate it with fresh black olive tapenade on the freshest french breads and washed it down with mint juleps! For dessert - fresh strawberries and banane et choclat chaussons (in honor of my dear comrade Joel Brouwer who just won a Guggenheim for his marvelous poetry).

It's a funny world and we are all lucky to be in it, despite the bad and ugly. There is always some beauty and joy.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Just to let you all know: today someone came into our apartment and stole my laptop (with all my edited images, documents, etc - luckily the raw files are all on my external hard drives) and my magical Nikon D300 camera. I don't know what to say but it may be a while before I post more images or do serious email. A dark day here in sunny springtime France.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Poems by my mother, Ursula Lukas Slavick

Found these old poems by my mother on one of my external hard drives today.


Bright red hair, dishevelled,
face covered with freckles,
eyes closed.
He was lying so still
in the gutter by the house,
eyes closed.
A green blanket
up to his chin,
shiny, black boots
stick out below.
No more than nineteen,
red-haired and freckled,
eyes closed.
A pool of blood on his left,
a brown stain on the blanket.

His closed eyes
never saw the defeat
he dared to mention.


White arrow
on stucco
camouflaged shit-brown
points downward
to a small square window

In our cellar
we huddle
-- the second air raid that night --
the bunker
to be built by Russian prisoners of war
not yet ready

My father
my mother
my brother, home from the front on furlough,
holds me tight
The arrow
indicates the window
through which we are to be pulled to safety
should a bomb destroy our house
and debris block doors

The arrow
a symbol of safety
points to a window
too small
for my father
my mother
my brother
but large enough for me

Monday, April 19, 2010

Map Heads and Haircuts

Here is Guthrie's balloon art.

And some of the many drawings by Harper Ursula:

A collaboration between Harper and me:

Harper's portrait of me!

and of brother Guthrie:

and of daddy David -

and her self-portrait -

This one reminds me of Basquiat -

This is one of Guthrie's "banana" drawing-collages made the night we saw the Ben Vautier show -

And Harper's post-Vautier collage -

Here are some sketches for my etching project that I hope to begin soon. I meet with URDLA this week to schedule the printing....

We went to the Parc Tete D'Or (park of the golden head) on Sunday, the first truly glorious spring day in Lyon. The kids rode paddle boats and the choo-choo train, saw elephants, monkeys and enormous turtles, played in the playgrounds and had ice cream......

Here is Harper today, the day after her first real haircut. She cried buckets last night when I cut it (after losing the battle against lice that all the kids got at their school). But today she loves it, especially after getting 3 new headbands to wear! I can't tell if she looks older or younger....but she is scrumptious!