Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wednesday 6 January - Grand Palais and Faux British

We went to two exhibitions at the Grand Palais today.  This is a vast exhibition centre with a glass dome roof close to the Champs Elysees.  To get there we walked down rue de Miromesnil where the drivers seemed intent on ignoring traffic lights and we had to be very careful about using crosswalks.

The first exhibit was black and white photographs by Lucien Clergue

This is the photo which was used to advertise the exhibition.  There were many studies of gypsies
He was born in Arles and saw the city after the ravages of the second world war.  His early work was of people in the ruins, dead animals, bull fighting, and the flora of the Carmargue.  There was also an erotic series of nudes on beaches with water swirling around the naughty bits.  He was encouraged in his work by Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau. We were enthralled by a series of 198 large prints along one wall entitled Kinetic Panorama. These were from the Carmargue showing the flora in sometimes strong and contrasting lighting to give a psychedelic effect - plants, sand and ice patterns, flotsam etc.  An excellent exhibition from an artist who died in 2014.

Picasso Mania was an exhibition of works not only by Pablo Picasso but also by artists who were influenced by him and who promoted his style.  People who had come merely to see works by Picasso would have had to search for them among the rest.

A series of 18 video screens depicting acrobats by David Hockney

A series of three screens by Rineke Dijkstra entitled "I see a woman crying" showed the reactions by a group of Liverpool school children on seeing Picasso's "Weeping Women" of 1937.  The reactions and thoughts of the kids were engaging.

The Grand Palais is an enormous ornate exhibition hall with a glass domed roof.  There were four exhibitions being held at the same time
This gull was trying to eat a plane tree seed while the starlings were bathing
Dinner this evening was at Le P'tit Canon
The kidney with pleurottes and potatoes had a wonderful sauce

We had to leave in good time to get to the Theatre Tristan Bernard on the rue du Rocher (10-15 minutes walk) for a performance of Faux British, a farce in the British style put on by L'Association des Amis du Roman Noir Anglais.  It was a lot of fun although some of the dialogue was difficult but we could understand enough to follow.  As we took our seats a stage hand was trying to get the set ready and parts of the mantlepiece kept dropping off.  She kept coming back to put things straight with tape, screws etc. and each time raised a cheer from the audience.  This was how the show started.  It turned out that Inspecteur Carter (patterned after Sherlock Holmes) was the killer although he was more akin to Inspecteur Clousseau.  It was a great performance that we thoroughly enjoyed.

The Theatre Tristan Bernard is in a normal building which would appear to contain apartments and offices.  It has a small street presence and the theatre auditorium is set back.  It was very well attended and well received.

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