Sunday, February 18, 2007

Surrounded by Europeans.

Smoke is so disgusting: I will never hang out around smokers ever. The reason? This morning I woke up with a headache and my outer garments still smelled like cigarettes, as did my hair. Ew gross, ew. So, anyways, after getting over my achyness and persuading myself that I really did need to leave the house I ventured out to London and took in the Tate Modern. Travelling was a bit more complicated than I anticipated because the underground line out here was closed "for planned engineering works" or something. Which meant I had to take a couple other trains (for which I'm not sure I even paid, since the system is apparently different) and do a bit of walking. But I eventually made my way across the Millennium Bridge (at the insistence of EC), saw the big church in the distance, and into the gallery.

It's pretty nice, though I wasn't totally blown away. They had a bunch of Rothkos and Jackson Pollocks and Andy Warhols, though, FN: you would have liked them! Warhol's Marilyn Monroe diptych is there. Oh, and there was a large Klimt lady, too! It was kinda neat to compare the different modern galleries I've been to recently. (Here, Washington, Minneapolis.) I think Minneapolis had the best one, though the Tate obviously has a more famous collection. There's also a big slide installation that people were going down (multi-floored slide). It looked like fun, but not the kind of thing I was prepared to do on my own. If I was with friends, I'd totally do it, though. Despite the huge lineups on each floor. And, no, I didn't pay 10pounds to see the Gilbert & George exhibit; I just did the free stuff.

My way home was similarly confused. Tube, then bus---I sat on the top of a double-decker!---then train. Normally, see, I'd be able to tube it all the way. Stupid engineering. But this way I did get to do the bus thing.

Today I decided that I much prefer painting and sculptures and the like to other forms of art. Maybe object-type displays are meaningful or whatever to some people but I just don't get it. I know, there's not anything I necessarily need to get. But for me, art is about mood. And an interesting piece of standard-type art can make me feel something or get me contemplative, etc. But objects generally don't have this effect. I mean, a handmade drain that looks exactly like a commercially-made, mass-produced drain might have me think, "well, this guy can make a realistic-looking drain," but not much else. Even with a black canvas there's more going on. I dunno. Maybe the stuff will grow on me. I'm prepared to keep giving it a chance since I really do like modern art galleries! Well, except all those stupid films that are screened in little darkened rooms with a few benches to sit on where you always walk into the middle of a showing and then quickly decide it's not worth hanging around. Whatever. I guess in the end it's all fine and it's all part of the postmodern experience ;-). Or something.

Here's my first attempt at a panorama shot. Looks like I messed up a bit with one of the five original photos, but you can still get a pretty good view of what I saw when I exited the gallery today. The church is St. Paul's and the pedestrian bridge is the Millennium one. On the left you can just make out Blackfriar's Bridge. The tube station I used today is just beyond that.

Tomorrow I'm off to the Imperial War Museum's archives. I hope also to have a chance to look around the museum after my research is done. Should be fun! Actually, on Saturday at the National Archives I came across some material that had to do with setting up the museum's collections at the end of the First World War. (A printed booklet thing from 1919 outlining what had been gathered and what was still wanted.) Which makes good sense; the museum was set up a year later.

Two more pics. The first one is for EC; the second was something I only noticed because I wondered what was occupying such a lovely building. Can you see the name on it? It's nothing like the one in downtown Toronto . . . .
Oh, right, and what's with my title? Well, this place is of course full of tourists, but here most of the tourists are European, which is a bit different for me. I've never heard so much funny-sounding English (UK versions of various kinds), German, French-French, Russian, other Slavic languages, Scandinavian ones, etc., all in one place. It's weird, too, because it's so heavily white. Hmm. But that's just what I experienced today in two hours downtown, so don't take my word for it.

1 comment:

ec said...

LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!