Saraghina, la rumba!

It’s Friday evening at 7pm, and I have actually finished work, for a change. I am doing no work this weekend. The next several days are going to feature cute boys, arts & culture and exotic locations. Stay tuned for more news.

I would like to celebrate this situation with a clip from Fellini’s 1963 film 8 1/2.  There are many things one could say about this important film but I will be concise. One of the most memorable figures in the film is La Saraghina, a woman who lives in a hut on the beach. In exchange for a coin, she dances. She is – well, I will let you decide.

Saraghina, la rumba! La rumba!

I was just kidding, yeah?

So. There is an art competition at my workplace. You can ‘win’ the privilege of having your work exhibited in the on-site art museum. People take it sooper seriously and spend hours labouring over paintings of arrangements of fruit and whatnot.

I can’t draw for shit but I didn’t let that stop me entering. I dashed off a pile of scribbly pictures that took me about five minutes using marker pen and then I entered them for the competition. Just because it made me laugh to do it. It is the exact type of thing that tickles my sense of humour. You show me a bunch of people being all sooper serious about something and I will make a point of seeing what I can achieve without even trying. Also I entered some drawings on behalf of some of my customers, drawings which were equally bad and in some cases worse.

OMG. The man from the art competition emailed me today. We won. We won the competition. They want ‘some of’ my art and my customers’ art for this exhibition. HA HA HA!!!! This makes me laugh so much. I am on tenterhooks waiting to find out which of our drawings were selected. I have to wait until Tuesday to find out. I am going to be the workplace equivalent of Tracey Emin.

Drawing by Tracey.

tracey-emin-its-all-do-to-my-tits

Seems like we should have an appropriate tune. If I were a musician and not a Fine Artist, this is probably the type of music I would make. They should have a music competition and I will enter that as well. Try and stop me.

Captain Sensible: Wot (1982)

Paris

OK, there is so much I could tell you and there isn’t time to tell you everything. So I will just concentrate on the bits that have photos.

I was very briefly in Paris. I just had time to go to the Pompidou Centre, where the contemporary art is. What you do is walk down this street here.

paris street

Then you come to the Pompidou Centre, which looks like this.

pomp large

At the moment they are having a Marcel Duchamp exhibition.

pompidou

Inside, on the ground floor, it looks like this. That shop at the back is one of the best shops I have EVER been to and I want every single book, toy and item of stationery that they sell.

inside pomp

Because you are in a hurry, you will rush past amazing pieces of contemporary art, like these.

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I love this big table with the chairs set in to the table.

big table

One of the chairs is facing the wrong way.

backwards chair

One is a child’s potty chair.

potty chair

More French contemporary art, the kind I like. Early 20th-century Futurist horses by Raymond Duchamp-Villon.

horses

Container Zero by Jean-Pierre Raynaud.

container zero

zero

More artworks that you won’t have time to stop and look at.

relief

lights

The escalators are on the outside of the building, like an exo-skeleton, and as you approach the top floor you are treated to impressive views of Paris.

paris view 1

That is Notre Dame cathedral, way over on the other side of the city, photographed at very long range.

notre dame

The Eiffel Tower at sunset, also photographed at a considerable distance.

eiffel

The square where the Pompidou Centre is.

square

At the very top of the building is an outstanding restaurant, I cannot recommend it enough. The food is great, the wine list is as impressive as the views over the city. It is a great place to sit and get drunk.

restaurant 1

restaurant 2

restaurant 3

I had lobster linguine.

lobster

On my other evening in Paris I went to hear a piano recital in a very old church, something I would only consider doing in foreign countries, and only then if I had a good reason. I am surprised the church did not burst into flame. It is a Syrian church called Saint-Ephrem.

church 1

church 2

I was there to hear Elizaveta Frolova play the piano, she is absolutely amazing and I felt so lucky to hear and see her play in such a tiny venue and be able to thank her afterwards, she came out when I was still putting my coat on and the other 9 people in the audience had already left. I didn’t record this video as recording wasn’t permitted that evening, but here she is, doing her thing.

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And that’s all the French news. Tomorrow: My five minutes in Brussels.

1 Art point.