France and England: Part 7

It was the day of the Louis Vuitton Foundation. A year ago, the Foundation had opened. It’s a collection of contemporary art in a building designed by Frank Gehry in the outskirts of Paris. You had to reserve tickets. Last time we were in Paris, the only available ticket times were at the same time as the Cirque d’Hiver. Sacrifices had to be made. On this trip, I was committed to making it. I booked our tickets.

However, I woke up feeling rather horrid. I’m still not sure if it was a stomach flu or food poisoning but I did not feel well. But as I said, I’m committed. We ended up taking a cab to the Foundation instead of trying their 1 euro bus near the Arc de Triompe.

The building was incredible. It’s a real testament to Frank Gehry’s work. Every angle revealed a different view. Parts of it are open to the elements. Simply magnificent. Worth the trip alone.

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Fondation Louis Vuitton

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Another View from the Fondation Louis Vuitton

The collection…Well, it contained a lot of contemporary art. To be honest, most of it wasn’t my taste. Lots of abstract work, video installations, which aren’t my cup of tea. However, they did have an amazing piece by Marina Abramovic where there were about six metronomes on the wall, each ticking away. You were invited to sit down in a beach chair in front of any of the six and listen for as long as you wanted. She recommended 40 minutes. It was a wonderful experience. It was comfy chair. I closed my eyes just to listen to the metronomes. They were at slightly different speeds so they would cycle through complete synchronization and then fall apart. It almost sounded like the ball being hit between two tennis players.

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Marina Abramovic’s piece

There were some other works. Some photographs of car races by Andreas Gursky were sort of interesting. Not my favorite of his works. There was a beautiful two story silver flower that was pretty cool too. We also passed through the event space by accident. It was filled with the paintings of Ellsworth Kelly, who would die the following day. His giant canvas of bright single color hung around the empty room. I think it would have been a neat place to have an event.

To get back, we took the 1 euro shuttle, which was pretty comfortable, to the Arc de Triompe and took the metro back to the hotel.

That afternoon, after a nap, we took a walking tour with Paris Walks. I’ve talked about them before but it bears repeating. They have walking tours on diverse subjects all over Paris. The tours are led by ex-pats (American and English) and they are really good. The walks are fairly inexpensive (12 euros) for a two hour tour. BUt make sure you are ready to walk. We did their French Revolution tour, which was basically outside our door!

We learned about a lot of the places around our hotel that had importance during the Revolution. THere’s a tiny pedestrian street that was where the guillotine was perfected. Apparently, Louis XVI finalized the design but suggesting a slanted blade instead of a curved one. Creepy! We also discovered that one of the few remaining public sculptures of the meter was just around the corner. During the Revolution, they tried to force everyone to use the metric system so they displayed measures on walls throughout the city so people would know what a meter was. Very cool.

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Meter!

That’s all for now! Tomorrow we are off to London! Land of the Queen!

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