Tuesday, 19 July 2011

....on a tangent

G,day you two.....

....thought I'd post a brief note as an antidote to the "tourists" of the "blissfully ignorant" entry.
There was the day Mrs Wombat and I visited the Musee D'Orsay... but the staff were on strike so we popped around the corner to Musee Rodin. (Paris' a bit like that we found.)
I'll talk about this extraordinary collection another time 'cause this is a story about children.... or more particularly a child, behaving, well... I think, brilliantly.

We had become accustomed to seeing excursion groups of children from Prep to Senior High at places we visited.
"......Let's take the students to Villandry/ LeThoronet/ Louvre/ Musee Rodin for the day..."? (sort of tops any excursion I ever took students on.)
They were invariably well-behaved as were the the late Primary-aged students there at Musee Rodin that day.
I was looking through the collection and taking some photos and when lining up a shot of "The Crouching Woman" noticed a little girl sitting with her mother on window seats diagonally opposite. The girl was drawing intently. In fact, very intently. I think she was about seven or eight years of age and as she was staring past me to my left I put the camera down so not to distract her.
I wondered... how long she would be able to maintain her concentration?
Minutes passed, probably four or five and she was still staring at that Rodin she was drawing, checking briefly what marks she was making and returning her gaze to the sculpture in such a concentrated manner when a man, French (well he spoke it fluently), approached the girl and asked to see her drawing. Her annoyed look made me grin but she showed him her work and looked glad that he was satisfied and was moving on and then returned to her drawing in her former decisive manner.
A few more minutes later the girls mother looked up and saw me watching and smiled... I went over to her and apologising for not speaking French asked if her little girl was always so conscientious?
"No, in fact it's the quietest I've ever seen her... she's always running around ...very active".
We conversed a little more, I thanked her and returned back behind the Crouching Woman, photographed them all and moved on, too.
She was still drawing......

I wonder what impact that place had made on that little girl and how she might remember it for the future?
This little episode was just the tonic needed after the "tourists".
In fact we returned to the D'Orsay... it was open ... but decided that looking/jostling at a Degas work with 200 others was probably something he never intended and went and actually found a good French coffee!
A satisfying day.

Cheers, petals.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

...about the blissfully ignorant.

Cheers, fellow Antipodeans.....
I said I'd follow up with a few (heh, heh) shots of touristic behaviour .. you've been warned!

Photography, Tai Chi style
Tai Chi is a good way of becoming an excellent photographer and just might get you noticed by Paris Opera talent scouts.

 It is also important that when in a  foreign country you take shots that reflect not only your originality and creativity  but your respect for the country and monuments visited

Eiffel Tower Originals

Louvre antics

I'm not quite sure what the following couple were up to but I think they were making little "stripper-grams" for the folks back home!

Burlesque at Eiffel
Lord knows what they photograph in private. They did a whole routine which looked more  burlesque than tourist. French Police group standing to left of plaza looked on in disdain.

And if things don't work out the just the way you want them: then it's perfectly ok to abuse your elderly (and I presumed) mother.

Weddings are always fun, particularly the "frou-frou" ones. This one was funny 'cause as they lined up in front of the fountain in Place de la Concorde for wedding snaps the always customer-oriented French, obligingly turned said fountain off.
Chinese frou-frou at Place de la Concorde

La Pissoir
It is always prudent to locate the public toilets, too!

Public displays of affection are sometimes frowned upon in foreign lands ...thank god this is Paris...........
Le Controleur gras
...........but there are probably less demeaning looking modes of handling your g/f.

and a one ...and a two... and a three..... wheeeeee
And if it dosen't work the first time try, try again.

It is  testament to Gustave Eiffel that his temporary monument has not only lasted this long but continues to outlast the tourist glance. It is a beautiful elegant structure that repays a deal of study.
Robert Hughes said once that tourist-groups are given something like 90 seconds - 2 minutes in front of a painting before they are moved along. Any shorter and they feel short-changed, any longer and they begin to get involved and that throws the whole schedule out.
I wonder if the little "chicky-babes" in front of Rude's  "La Marseillaise" at the Arc de Triomphe, poutingly throwing their shoulder provocatively forward for another face-book ID update really give a damn where they are as long as they are there!

Cheers mates, 'til next time.
Shane Wombat.