Well, last week saw the arrival of M who has spent the past couple of years working in Gaza. I haven’t seen much of him recently as it’s a long way from Gaza to Brussels and I was reluctant to visit him as I felt I owed it to my baby daughter to have her mother survive her infancy. So there was much rejoicing on his arrival in the capital of Europe.
M is always taking me to operas. He loves opera. Despite my best efforts, I do not love opera. I can’t help it, I try and I try but as far as I’m concerned, a day without opera is just fine. So we went to Aida, described by M as “fabulous Aida that everybody loves”. Not everybody, oh it was alright I suppose. But Aida and Ramades were very fat and as they stood at the front of the stage clutching each other’s chubby little hands, I was irresistibly reminded of the teletubbies.Â And then Aida is so feeble. Ramades is sentenced to death (which is entirely her fault) and walled up in a tomb.Â Guess who’s secreted herself in the tomb so that they can die together (I’m sorry, if I’m ruining the punchline for you).Â Surely, the least she could have done was hidden outside and tried to get him out. Opera. Pshaw.
A trip to Ghent for the day was much more to my taste.Â We spent quite a while looking at art and were able to entertain ourselves and nauseate passers-by with conversations along the following lines:
Me: Of course, I love the Flemish Primitives…
M: I think you’ll find that’s early Netherlandish
Me: Sorry, I’m so used to thinking in French.
M: Yes, well, look at the jewel like intensity of those colours.
Me: Yes, I feel that this is the peak of achievement of the Netherlandish school.Â Those imports from Italy often don’t work.
M: Are you talking about the Caravaggisti?
Me: Well, no, they’re fine, I’m really thinking about Northern Mannerism.
M: Of course, the Northern baroque, one thinks of Rubens…
And so on. No truly.Â We can’t help ourselves.Â We’re made for each other. It was fabulous to see him.
on 29 October 2004 at 13:38
Ah, but the Cortona school of Futurists *sighs*…
on 29 October 2004 at 13:58
PFT, fat birds indeed, when one things of the monumentality of Rubens’ work, the solid presence of his figures and his daring Titianesque use of colour…you see once you start this kind of thing, it is very hard to stop..
Bobble, well, clearly anything after the Flemish primitives, is bound to be a let down and those futurists, really, I don’t know. Of course, Italy is clearly very proud of the futurists but frankly, not sure that Boccioni merits his place on the 20 cents in the same way that Botticelli deserves the 10 cent place…and, you know, I could go on like this for hours unless I am stopped by the forces of reason.
on 29 October 2004 at 14:07
I am off to my preferred artist’s show on this Saturday: Raphael. His transfiguration… *wordless*
on 29 October 2004 at 14:59
How come we never get any of that classy kind of talk on this blog?
on 29 October 2004 at 21:05
An amazing coincidence where he works, considering his name eh? Worked out quite well…imagine the confusion if he worked in Ballinspittle or somewhere…
on 01 November 2004 at 19:15
Bobble, lucky, lucky you. Silver, start blogging again, I miss your puns. Will I start a separate category for arty talk? Beth, well, that’s perfect because when you have children, he can take them to look at hair bands and you can go to galleries. Locotes, indeed.