Thursday, November 11, 2010

The art of frustration

The exhibition in Caixa Forum was bitterly disappointing. Entitled “Human, all too human. Spanish art of the 1950s and 1960s” it was a sparse display of mediocre paintings in a range of tired styles.

It did have some Dalí etchings and a couple of third rate Picassos while the rest was a selection of sad and uninteresting examples of faded avant guard self indulgence masquerading as cutting edge art.

This had all the trademark pretention of a collection of an institution which wanted names without caring about the quality. I didn’t really like any of their purchases (or indeed borrowings) and we walked through the exhibition at a brisk trot.

Thank god that the nibbles and glass of wine in the café of Caixa Forum were more than acceptable.

The most remarkable aspect of this trip into Barcelona was trying to find a parking space.

I discovered a whole neighbourhood of small streets on Montjuic that were astonishing not only for their verticality but also for their narrowness. I eventually parked, after squeezing past an amazingly inconsiderately parked car and finding myself in a cramped street with a large free parking space.

It was but a short walk to the exhibition from the first normal parking space I have ever found in Barcelona to the exhibition. It is only a pity that the works of art did not match such a unique occasion.

Leaving the parking space necessitated a great deal of very exact driving along a narrow street filled with parked cars. They had all thoughtfully turned their wing mirrors in which just about allowed me to make my stately progress back to wider streeted civilization!

By the time I got home I was exhausted.

An exhaustion which was built on a number of hours later when I got up for an early start in school.

I have at least marked the papers from the test which was held yesterday: a depressing experience.

I also went through the English translation that the kids did of a children’s short story for the umpteenth time incorporating a second set of suggestions from other readers. I think that I am now done with the project and it is for others to take it further and see whether there can be an English printing of the text. As it was written to provide funding for the disaster relief in Haiti it would be a good thing if it could be sold more widely.

This has been a full day during which I don’t seem to have stopped working. It has therefore been a crushingly tiring day – but one in which the work completed has been productive.

My journey home was uneventful that my arrival in the immediate area of the house was interesting as, suddenly and without warning, a road that I have used since arriving in the area has been made into a no entry street for cars.

The road outside the house is still blocked off with the arbitrary trenches now filled in and the quantities of concrete slowly hardening. I think that the road surface is going to be even more eventful to drive over than it was before – and believe me it was a bumpy experience.

I think that they (whoever “they” are) are planning to do something to one of the major slip roads which link us with the motorway out to Barcelona. Tomorrow should be interesting!

And it is the start of the weekend as well! If only to recuperate from the journey to and from work!

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