Saturday 11 September 2010

Pompidou's lady in a black dress

Only one day in Paris - Arthur wants to go up the Eiffel Tower, Jago wants to go on a boat, Freya wants to do steps, Nikki wants to go to an art gallery. I'm not sure, but Pompidou Centre seems like a good place to start.

Starting from the top. working way down, we spend the next three hours there.  Escalators popular, films great, giant moving beanbag is it art?  Too much for any 18 month old, and have to admit I wanted to jump on it too.  The thing that most entertains children was a series of silent movie type films where lady in burqa does unlikely things, like water skiing, ice skating, sunbathing.  Reminds me of Heard and not Seen.

I ask Arthur what it is and why it's funny.  'It's a woman in a black dress being funny'.  It's not like he hasn't see a burqa before and, thanks to his primary, his knowledge of religion is better than mine including why muslim women wear burqas.  Jago adds, 'She's so funny when she picks up the fruit' [one of which is a phone]  Why it is a little uncomfortable for me and Nikki to watch?  They just sit there and watch the three screens looping the ludicrous lady in a black dress.

On the first floor there is the children's area.  Kawamata has been making a cardboard city with children.  Actually the cities made for 'Faces and Places' project with Taryn Coxall run by Birmingham Archives and Heritage were superior in both quality and apparently depth of experience.  Sadly, as no Kawamata, children can't add their own building.  So lots of scissors and carboard, can't make anything.   Shame adults can't have a go too.

For families Pompidou was definitely an improvement on Eugene Boudin in Honfleur.  We were being followed there by security to ensure no loudness or other distractions for art experience of all.  Even in the enlightened Pompidou, you've got to ask why do art galleries find families so hard?

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