Friday, June 15, 2012

Photos: Traveling III

I had seen the Temple de la Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí's unfinished, ongoing masterpiece, before, but it astonished me no less this second time, not least because a large portion of its façade and other sections of it are actually finished! The building's front and sides, every angle of it, pulsate with a strange, compelling magnetism; it is as if it were another life form, a stone creature to which you feel drawn, willing to surrender whatever good sense you have because you cannot say no. But I did say no to the tour, because of the long lines and exhaustion after several longish days, a lingering cold, and two hours whiled walking and looking in the Picasso Museum. I'd never been there. I highly recommend it. The collection is small; Picasso's friend and secretary Jaume Sabatiers donated most of what's in it, with the maestro himself and his former partner (wife?) chipping in some tidbits to fill things out, but it nevertheless gives a good sense of Picasso's trajectory, grounding his genius and work in his experiences in Barcelona, where he spent a good portion of his youth. There was also an excellent temporary exhibition called Archivo F. X.: On Zero Economy (or, as a large wall-sized display said, "Economy: Picasso"), that paired his work with that of admirers and critics, one of whom I recognized as soon as I rounded a corner and heard the beat and her voice: Adrian M. S. Piper, with her famous conceptual art project and video, "Funk Lessons"!  As part of this exhibit the group Archivo F. X. Commissioners Pedro G. Romero and Valentín Roma created a series of pieces, ranging from a dictionary of capital and economy, to large coloring charts, to vouchers for 1 peseta. I asked three different museum guards, who were swarming about, whether these materials really were free, because I did not want to be spend the rest of the month of June in jail for larceny, and each assured me that yes, the materials were free. (My bold action in rolling up one large print led a couple behind me to do so--how easily we follow others.) As I left I mentioned in Spanish that no one was taking the pictures (I couldn't think of the word for "poster"), and the guard I spoke to just shrugged. I wasn't going to pass up Picasso/FX Archive swag! At some point I wended my way to the Arc de Triomf. That is not a spelling error, but Catalan. It's a striking monument, with flourishes such as only Barcelona seems capable of. Behind it, the Passeig Lluis Companys stretches in the direction of the Parc de la Ciutadella, where the Zoological Museum and Zoo, as well as the Catalonian Parliament are located. You infer from that juxtaposition. A fitting end to the day came when I happened upon a street performance that involved those giant wearable puppets that are common during Carnaval in Recife, Brazil, and the young musicians switched, not on behalf of me, but because they knew the tune, from what sounded like a traditional Spanish song to r&b. Above them hung the two signs you'll see below in the final two images, calling for help for public schools, and for the preservation of public services. The Catalan in the last two sentences reads: "We believe in public schools" and "We defend public services." Lest we ever think we're (the 99%, that is) not all in this boat together....

Olmec head, Museu Barbier-Müller
Museu Barbier-Müller (Olmec head)
The Arc from the Pg. Lluis Companys
Arc de Triomf from the Passeig Lluis Companys
Arc de Triomf, Barcelona
Arc de Triomf looking east, towards the Mediterranean Sea
Passatge Sert
Passatge (Passage) Sert
Clearing off graffitti
Scouring the limestone
CULOS (you know what that means, along with "BEERS"; but "DINMA"?)
The Hivernacle, Parque de Ciutadella
Zoological Museum, Parc de La Citadella
Commercial, Barcelona
A commercial being filmed at the edge of the Bari Gothic
Via Augusta, Gracià
Entrance, Picasso Museum
The entrance to the Picasso Museum
In the interior courtyard, Picasso Museum
The alcove of the Picasso Museum
Early drawing by Picasso of an African man
An student-era drawing of an African, by Pablo P.
Street art, Barcelona
"In the year 2065"...
Sagrada Familia
The Temple of the Sagrada Familia (the fruit-topped steeples are wrapped as of today)
Wider view of the Sagrada Familia
Mercat Santa Catarina
Mercat Santa Catarina (an amazing building)
Lagoon across from the Sagrada Familia
The lagoon in the Plaza de Gaudí
Street performers
The giant humanoid puppets (hmm...)
"SOS Public education"
SOS Public education
A poster defending public schools and services
More public pleas: "We defend public services!"

No comments:

Post a Comment