Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yeah, But Is It Art?

My cousin Al (first-cousin once-removed) is a curator of contemporary art visiting from the United Sates and, until he mentioned it, I didn't even know Sevilla had a Center for Contemporary Art. So, it was an even better surprise to learn it was a pleasant, short walk from our house. The Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo is located on the Island of Cartuja where there were rich clay deposits used by the potters of Triana to produce their ceramics products. In 1400, the Monastery of the Cartuja was built on the island and in the mid-19th century an English businessman bought the property and turned it into a world-famous pottery factory. In 1992, Sevilla restored the monastery as part of the Universal Exhibition. There are a number of chapels on the property. In one, Saint Anne's Chapel, the body of Christopher Columbus lay in the crypt from 1509 to 1536.

BACK ENTRANCE ("RIVER DOOR"). MID-18TH CENTURY.

There were a couple of special exhibits Al wanted to see and they fortuitously didn't end until Sunday. So we walked over in the baking sun.

THE SIMPLE TILE WORK OF THE LAYMEN'S ARCH.

HUH?
HUH?
HUH?
AND... HUH?

I raised my eyebrows a number of times at some of the art on display. But, the two artists Al was especially interested in seeing were both names I recognized (although really knew nothing about) and artwork I found interesting.

THE LARGE CLOISTERS.
LOOKING FROM THE ORIGINAL REMAINS TO 19TH AND 20TH-CENTURY RECONSTRUCTIONS. 
MY COUSIN THE CURATOR (BACKGROUND, RIGHT)... READING.
THE "LITTLE CLOISTERS." MID-1400s.
(THE KNEELING NUNS AT FIRST GLANCE LOOKED LIKE YODA.) 
CHAPTER HOUSE. BURIAL PLACE OF THE RIBERA FAMILY (PATRONS OF THE MONASTERY).
IS THAT A BREATHING TUBE?!?
GALLERY BUILT AROUND PART OF CHIMNEY BASE.
A JOSÉ PIÑAR "REMASTERING" ON THE WALL.
JOSÉ PIÑAR: "GREATEST HITS."
(A GREAT EXHIBIT, BUT MAYBE THEY SIMPLY RAN OUT OF WALL SPACE.)
FIONA TAN: FRONT-AND-BACK PROJECTED "FAMILY' SLIDES IN HER "POINT OF DEPARTURE" EXHIBIT.
FIONA TAN: ONE OF MANY [POINT OF DEPARTURE] DOORS INTO HER VIDEO EXHIBITS.
BRITISH-STYLE OVENS FROM 19TH- AND 20TH-CENTURY CERAMICS FACTORY.
"HOMBRE-ORQUESTA" ("ONE-MAN BAND") BY CURRO GONZÁLEZ
THERE WERE HORNS ON A NEARBY WALL FROM WHICH MUSIC RANDOMLY PLAYED.
ENTRANCE GATEWAY AND OUTER CHAPEL.
AL AND I WENT IN THE BACK (RIVER) ENTRANCE AND OUT THE FRONT ENTRANCE. REBELS!

23 comments:

  1. I echo your "huh"? Though the plant entwined ladder looks rather fun. And what a stunning building! You do live in an amazing city.

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    1. Judith:
      The entwined ladder was interesting to me. But all I kept thinking was "fee fi fo fum."

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  2. The building is great! How amazing it is to walk through a doorway from the mid 18th century. The tiles were amazing, too!

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    1. Hey! Judith and Judith posted 1st and 2nd :)

      Judy (or, Judeet, as some of my family calls me, echoing the French pronunciation of Judith)

      Delete
    2. Seine Judeet Judith:
      To walk through a mid-18th century doorway into a chapel from the 1400s!

      Delete
    3. JUDITHS:
      I even had to be more specific this time in my responses. Will this become a habit? I hope so!

      Delete
  3. Yes, some of the art was questionable...but they do say beauty is in the eye of the beholder....but the building, well nothing short of amazing.

    hugs Mr. B :)

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    1. Monkey Man:
      I'm going to head back on my own and explore the entire place. Many more buildings and gorgeous gardens. Be forewarned.

      Delete
  4. Another great post. Love the yodas or is it yodi? There are conical brick towers in Bridgwater Somerset used in the glass industry many, many moons ago. Modern art can leave one feeling HUH,

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    1. the cuby poet:
      I'm going with Yodas. I'd go with yodi if singular was Yodum (which I kind of like). The row of tapering brick oven/chimneys are what make the center so recognizable from a distance. I wasn't surprised to learn they were an English design, since I've seen them around England. I love them.

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  5. I sometimes wonder who are the Exalted Overseers of True Art who can designate a bucket or splatters on paint as ART! Maybe your cousin Al can clue us in. It's really great that you got to share the experience.

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    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      I can appreciate a very broad definition of art myself. But some of these things do leave me wondering. Al was amazing to wander/wonder with.

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  6. I'd love to see that tile up close... amazing! About that "one man band".... were all those "instruments" playable? and where was the tin cup where you could drop coins? Just wonderin'..... AND... I missed yesterday's post until just now... your mother is stunning! Hope she had a wonderful birthday!!!

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    1. The Odd Essay:
      I'm going to do a blog post on tile I've seen around town. No, the instruments weren't playable. The just looked like they were, but the speakers hidden in "brass instruments" mounted on the wall, would play in response to motion around the sculpture. That was very funny.

      My mother is grateful for your generous comment (she, it turns out) reads them all! She did have a good birthday.

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  7. "A breathing tube?" some people can't stop smoking, even after death!

    Wow and Huh are the words that come to mind, thanks for showing us around.

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    1. Peter:
      Now THAT makes sense. It IS Sevilla, after all, home to Carmen and the tobacco factory, and home to way too many smokers nowadays. It would be hilarious to see that sarcophagus puffing out smoke rings. What a great contemporary art piece that would make.

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  8. Very interesting.
    I do appreciate all types of art. But still I'd agree with you..... Huh?

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    1. Stew:
      Yep, sometimes that's all I can say.

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  9. How cool is it to have all of that (and more) within walking distance? :)

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I hope I never stop appreciating this!

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  10. Seville is an amazing city. My daughter Em was there for a language course more than ten years ago, but I don't think she had time to see a tenth of the things you've posted about in this blog. Love the tiles and would love to see them much closer.

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    1. Kristi:
      The tile work is stunning.

      There's so much else here I'm dying to see (and so much more I'm sure I don't even know about).

      Delete

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