Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A day in London

While Caron was busy working I took the opportunity to take a trip into London to see some sights which I've been keen on for a while. First stop was the Photographers Gallery near Leicester tube station which turned out to be a real disappointment. It really only shows the work of a couple of photographers and even then, not anyone that is known so it was hardly inspirational.

Next stop was the Tate Modern about which I think the best that I can say is that the building and exhibition rooms are magnificent. There is obviously something about modern art which I simply don't get. If art is about communication then it is in a language I don't understand but I think I'm in good company because nobody else seems to understand it either. By way of example:


Has real meaning and a message that I, as the artist, would like to communicate to you. I promise you, it really does. Don't get it? Well neither does anyone else but that doesn't mean that it isn't art - you just don't understand the message.

If art is about aesthetics then we all have different tastes but lets not confuse the issues and try and make art to be more than it actually is.

While I was pondering I ended up watching a mother and her children playing far below on the expanse of concrete that forms the entrance to the Tate. Taking the example below

Aesthetic? Probably - depending on the viewer. Meaning as in a message from me, the artist to you the viewer. None! I could make up some bullshit about waiting at the crossroads of life and pondering which direction to go but no, it is simply a picture of a little girl which I found aesthetically pleasing.

Moving on. From the Tate I walked over the Millenium bridge which I found particularly aesthetically pleasing, to St. Pauls cathedral where I handed over 10 GBP of Caron's money to go inside. I like this kept husband thing! As I handed over the money the cashier told me to take off my cap and not to take any photographs because it is a place of worship. I wonder if they see the irony of paying to go into a church. St. Pauls is pretty damn impressive once one gets past the ghoulish aspects of bodies everywhere and just looks at the actual building. Comparing St. Pauls with the cottage below which is almost certainly of more recent vintage one would conclude that standards are going down here but like everywhere else that probably isn't true.

You get what you pay for and in St. Pauls case the cost must have been plenty - kindly provided by the colonies conquered by some of those interred within. So while some are feted here, they are more than likely hated elsewhere.

After St. Pauls I went to the prison that gave it's name to prisons worldwide when they are referred to as 'the clink'. Interesting but pretty brutal back in those days. I'm glad we have moved on - at least I think we've moved on. Sometimes I wonder though.

I finished the day off with a meal in a pub on the edge of the Thames while I waited for peak time to be over. When I had lunch at a sandwich bar quite close to the pub there were dozens of joggers running during their lunch hour even though it was decidedly chilly and they were wearing almost nothing. Judging from the figures that went past me I don't think that jogging is adequate to make up for the food consumption here.

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