Saturday, 30 August 2008

day 154

Musée du Louvre at night
I was walking back from a friend's atelier this morning and I looked around me and remembered how amazingly beautiful paris is. even walking through the car park back to my studio was charming.

the first time I came to paris as an adult was in 1998 and I remember being shocked at how people living here didn't see the beauty and history around them. I commented about this to a friend and he said that australian's are the same with space - we don't notice how much space we take up, how much space we need and now expect.

I never thought I'd take this beauty for granted, but walking through a corridor that was built 300 years ago and gently opened up to the sun reminded me that I now expect to wake up to this - and, that I've stopped seeing it. this feels like home now.

I'm going to miss the daily interactions, the discussions about art, the support from other artists and other practices. and I will miss being surrounded by beauty. this constructed and artificial place that houses 100s of cultures and myriad art forms and practices. how will I adjust again?

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Tuesday, 26 August 2008

day 150

it was day 150 and I wanted to do something special. so I went up the paris version of the canberra telecom tower: tour montparnasse. here, we were told, we had the best view of paris: and this is what I saw (click to enlarge)...

it was nearly as good as the canberra version but to make things more special they marked our height above ground on every stair and every wall...

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Thursday, 17 July 2008

day 110 - berlin

wall memorial  wall memorial
there is a 'wall memorial' on Bernauer Straße in mitte that has re-constructed a section of the wall, the death strip and its installations and barriers.

on the left you can see how the wall looked and behind it, you can see one of the many cemeteries that was decimated to make way for the death strip. the 'no man's land' photos I took on the first day come from this area. on the right you can see the renovated wall from the western side which would have been convered in graffiti...

wall memorial  wall memorial
this is one of the electrical control boxes situated in the death strip. in the 4th incarnation of the wall (it kept getting improved) there were automatic weapons triggered by trip wires in addition to the numerous guards in the watch towers and flood lights...

the memorial information talks about this section of the wall: "Bernauer Straße became especially symbolic of the inhumanity of the Berlin Wall: Because of the way the border was drawn in this area - the houses on the southern side of the street were in the Soviet sector, while the sidewalks in front of them belonged to the French sector - the Wall had an especially dramatic impact here. When the border troops started walling up the windows on the ground floor of these houses in August 1961, people attempted to escape to the western part of the city through the windows on the upper floors. Pictures of these escape attempts were seen around the world. Later the tenants living on this side of the street were evicted, and the houses were torn down in 1965. Only the ground floor façades remained; these were used as part of the border wall until 1979."

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Friday, 25 April 2008

day 27

quai branley

it was anzac day and grandad's anniversary. we went to the anzac ceremony at the arch de triomphe. it's the 90th anniversary of the great war, so they marked it with a flag the size of a small country

we walked in the procession on the champs élysées. we were
pushed in because we were australian. it was quite an
unexpected experience...