Tuesday, March 23, 2010


On the TGV to Paris:

Drycleaning sign in Paris:
It has been a while since my last post. I have been to New York, Hartford, Milan, Paris, Barcelona and of course, Lyon in the last 2 weeks! I will start with Paris - a one night trip with my dear friend Corinne, who arranged for me to give a lecture on my photography to Europe's biggest insurance company's (AVIVA) photo club.

Outside of AVIVA:

It was a bit odd. Corinne translated everything I said. One man came up to me afterwards to thank me for doing work about such difficult topics and I received an email from a woman the next day who said she was speechless and inspired by my talk. I had my trip paid for, received an honorarium and a great bottle of champagne.

Detail of subway poster:

We stayed at our friend Laurence's flat in Vincennes and had great Thai, Japanese and French food. The highlight of the trip was the art we saw: ELLE at Pompidou - a show of the women artists in their collection (photos below) and Crime et Chatiment (Crime and Punishment) at the Musee D'Orsay - an incredible exhibition of violence, torture, prison, murder and mayhem (not allowed to take pictures there) and the Memorial de la Shoah - a memorial museum but with the current show of U.S. films of the concentration camps, utterly horrifying.

A detail of Annette Messager's Pikes at the ELLE show at Pompidou:

2 breathing blue blankets, back and forth, inflating, deflating.....

Hair covered wire about 40 feet long....

Hannah Wilke:

One of my favourtie pieces in the whole show - embroideries of quotes from Tito - only this one was in English:

Dorothea Tanning's incredible Louise Bourgeois and Hans Bellmer meet Sarah Lucas and The Chapman Brothers installation:

What a surpise to find Joseph Beuys' felt room with the black piano in it, smack in the middle of the ELLE show, actually tucked away in the back room.....such silence, such potential....

Walking around Paris before dinner, getting hungry, looking for a belt, some shoes, lingerie....

Taking a break after a long day of walking - a Campari orange...

Joan of Arc

Walking around Le Marais, text on a museum:

A shop in Le Marais

Peeking through a fence at lawn lights during the day?

Laurence, a doctor-genetic researcher in Paris and Corinne, comrade, artist and freelancer, on the Paris metro, going back to Laurence's flat after yummy Thai food:

Galeries Lafayette, right before catching the 9pm train back to Lyon, what an exhausting spectacle!

Here are some images from the Memorial de la Shoah, where I found an extraordinary book in the bookshop: One-Way Tickets by Renee Levine. The book jacket reads, "The author, born 1925 in Berlin of German-Jewish professional parents, writes the story of 3 generations who left home never to return. The description of each displacement is accompanied by photographs taken at the time." This does not do the book justice. She starts the book with this quote by Camille Gibb from Sweetness in the Belly, "It is not simply what we remember, but why. There are sites of amputation where the past is severed from the budy of the present. Remembering only encourages the growth of phantom limbs. It is not simply what one remembers or why, but it is what to do with what one remembers, which of these scattered pieces to carry forward, what to protect and preserve, what to leave behind." The Memorial is an intense place, overwhelming, staggering, incomplete, disturbing and important.

The courtyard entranceway to the Memorial de la Shoah:

Man fixing the names on the walls:

A room in the Memorial museum of photographs of Jewish children who were sent away to their deaths:

Some stills from the American documentary films of the camps. Here are Nazi prison guards before their execution:

Women sobbing in disbelief and horror as they exit a crematorium at one of the camps:

(I will post Barcelona tomorrow or the next day....stay tuned.)

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