Sunday, 30 September 2007

Centre Pompidou

A few weekends ago I went out to the Georges Pompidou Centre, which is apparently the most successful cultural centre in the world, according to the lonely planet guide anyway. I'm not sure how they measure success in terms of cultural centres, number of people through the door, number of cultures under one roof at the same time ?? The main attraction is the Musee National d'Art Moderne it houses, which is France's national collection of art dating from 1905 onwards. Now to be fair to the Pompidou Centre I'm not the biggest fan of modern art, plus I was feeling really sick that day, so perhaps the art displayed is actually better than what I thought.

They did have a temporary exhibit on at the time which was all these weird stuffed animals, there was also one room filled entirely with wool strands hanging from the roof. Generally you associate stuffed animals with childhood and security, but the artist had them set-up to move in strange ways, or they looked just a bit off, like the head was on slightly wrong. That is the kind of modern art I like, where the artist has a good/different idea. I am definitely more a fan of the installation style of modern art than the paintings.

I think sometimes that when you look at modern paintings, you have no real idea if the artist is talented or even if they have a good idea as in some cases it is just a canvas of a single colour. The Pompidou centre is all mainly paintings so for that reason the jury is still out as to whether the Centre is worth a visit. They had some of the older modern art on the top floor, Matisse and that sort of thing, so that is perhaps better than the newer modern art on the lower floor. If you like modern art, pay it a visit, but I think I preferred GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) in Brisbane.

I find it funny when artists try and do science-y stuff as generally they don't really understand it enough. They know the basic principles and think that it is somehow mystical or something. These were two pieces that I really didn't get, the first is just a reproduction of the first page of a journal article in Astrophysical Letters and the other is just a plot of y = x^2. Don't see what is so fantastic about these particular bits of maths/science. Journal articles could never be confused with art, in the best case they are merely boring, in the worst case they are poorly written and the maths is wrong.

I did like this piece of art, it may not have come out great in the photo, but when you see it in the flesh it is made in such a way, with the bits of wire, that your eyes find it really hard to focus. It is quite a strange feeling looking at it. This is definitely the type of modern art I like, something a bit different, where the artist has obviously had a good idea.

No comments: