So the show was just

So the show was just exactly as ridiculous as i imagined. Remember those sunglasses, Oakley’s i think, that were so super hip a few years ago? Ok Laurent Laurent’s sidekick was wearing regular eyeglasses in that wrap around style. There is something about those glasses that make me cringe for the wearer. They only really work on top of a snowy mountain, or maybe in a boat in the middle of a sun bleached ocean. And they pretty much only work as sunglasses. I cringed again when i saw the banner that Nils and i were supposed to hold. It was tiny. It was exactly the same as the other logo they had scotch taped to the metal fence behind the performance space, totally boring, totally unworthy of a pair of super hip performance artists like myself and Nils. I cringed one last time when a completely shaved Laurent Laurent came running out in nothing but his red bikini briefs.

Do i really need to go into further details? Yes, probably i should. Let me start with the space. The Palais du Tokyo is housed in an amazingly beautiful building. It is basically two separate buildings joined by a courtyard of pillars which open to a lovely view of the Seine. The type of architecture common in Paris in that it constantly reminds you that, yes, you are in the most beautiful city on the face of the earth. One of the buildings is the Museum of Modern Art, which i’ve never been to. The other side is where the newly opened Palais du Tokyo is. When we first walked in, i couldn’t help turning to Nils with some disappointment and saying, “I thought the space was finished.” He took a few minutes to look around, at the sand blasted beams, the exposed wiring, the crumbling bits of plaster everywhere, and said “It’s finished.”

“Noooooo”. I protested. The space was magnificently huge, but in the sort of disrepair that i spent a year trying to wrench my dumbo loft out of.

“It’s supposed to be hip and edgy you know?” Nils said.

“It looks like my nasty loft”, i protested.

“Yeah exactly, like brooklyn loft-like.”

Hmm.. Well at first i thought this was pretty much lamer than lame, but as i think about it further it’s maybe not *so* lame. Thing is, Paris has no history of industry. There aren’t any old factories, or old warehouses. Paris was already a fully built center of life pre-industrial revolution. Unlike places like New York, Chicago, San Fran… So whereas those of us who live in post-industrial cities are used to seeing unfinished factory or warehouse-like spaces in the possession of a group of not-that-clean 20 somethings and maybe a few cats, (“and watch out for those nails sticking out of the wall over there, we haven’t gotten to those yet”); this is a whole new world for Parisians. It’s new, it’s interesting. It’s “Hip and edgy”. Hey before you laugh mockingly, keep in mind that in the States we pay $3.50 for a flat and mediocre espresso, and eat Wonder Bread, willingly. I may be getting a bit of cultural sensitivity in me after all.

The art, however, can not be explained away. It was crap. There was the obligatory “Mounds of Dirt in Middle of Room” art, the “Continuous Video Loop of Someone Doing Something Mundane” art, the “Disturbing Photos of Women Being Raped by Inanimate Objects” art. Blah blah blah. In a word, boring. The performance you ask? From what i caught of it, since i was ahem “performing”, i would say it was also crap. The night was nicely themed i guess. Later on Nils and i got interviewed on French TV, much to my mortification. The guy thrust a microphone in my face, and i think i prayed for death. Luckily this old woman came over and started having a long conversation with Nils about second hand clothes. I stood with a dumb smile on my face, and took care not to make eye contact with anyone who might ask me a question. All in all, in spite of my bitching, it was a pretty fun night. I did manage to have a 25 minute conversation completely in french with Nils’ friend Benedicte, which is a major breakthrough for me.

I also got into that French class starting in Feb – phew!

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