Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Washing of the dates

There was a rainstorm this past Saturday, we thought it was much too soon. Resident Egyptian expert Massimo explained this event is called" the washing of the dates." The rain commemorates the changing of the season by washing off the summer dust on the near ripe dates. 

The red dates behind the wall

Monday, September 26, 2011 least there was a good art show.

I was talking with my friend Sonny the other night and I thought his description of Geneva summed it up quite well-"Geneva is a place for rich old people." 
Jet d'Eau (water jet) on Lake Geneva shoots about 1800 gallons of water into the air at 125 mph reaching close to 500 feet. No water shortage here.
Typical narrow street. 
"Old Arsenal with magnificent grand old cannons laid out against lively paintings by Gustave de Beaumont, summarizing the history of Geneva. Above, the building is decorated with mosaic frescoes depicting Julius Caesar's arrival in 58 BC, the fairs of the Middle Ages, and the welcoming of Huguenot refugees during the Reformation."
Summing up the excitement Geneva has to offer on a Sunday afternoon. 
Bâtiment des Forces Motrices-old power station converted into a theatre. 
Building on the way to La Servette neighborhood. 
A skate park on the edge of Plaine de Plainpalais-an open space used for weekend markets and currently the circus. 
A stop land mines mural with graffiti lettering. 
The poster says it all. 
Our favorite part of Geneva was MAMCO Geneva (Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Genève). Above and below are partial views of Nina Childress'-The Effect Sissi
Green nudes and white swans are a little exotic.
The next three images are partial views of Mai-Thu Perret's-Spectra installation project.
German artist Cosima von Bonin-Cosima von Bonin’s Zermatt ! Zermatt ! Z...ermattet ! For Mamco's Sloth Section, Loop # 03 of the Lazy Susan Series, a Rotating Exhibition 2010-2011 Four, One, Two, Three. How about that for a long title.

The main reason why we waited a couple of hours for the museum to open was for the The Visual Culture of Punk in Europe, 1976-1980 exhibit.   
The exhibit was filled with album covers, fliers, posters, fanzines, and clothing.
I was happy that Crass was included in the exhibit, the band and the label is often overlooked since they actually practiced what they preached. The Sex Pistols may have sung about anarchy, Crass lived it. Love or hate them, they put money where their mouth is. Worth checking out is the Crass documentary: There Is No Authority But Yourself for free (of course) on google video by clicking here.
From 1976 Vivienne Westwood/Malcolm McLaren "Personal Collection Seditionaries" label Destroy Muslin.
From 1977 Vivienne Westwood/Malcolm McLaren "Personal Collection Seditionaries"
From 1977 Vivienne Westwood/Malcolm McLaren "Personal Collection Seditionaries" label 'Cowboys' t shirt
From 1977 Vivienne Westwood/Malcolm McLaren "Personal Collection Seditionaries"
Sex Pistols-Chalet Du lac Paris 1976 gig poster.
Couldn't find information on this drawing, I might have made it and placed it in the exhibition. There was a ton of Jamie Reid images (think: ransom note looking Sex Pistols graphics) but they didn't end up on my camera. See example below. 

An last but not least was a Markus Raetz exhibit Croisement 
The artist uses shapes, angles, and movement  in his sculptures.
Same objects as above.
The sculpture is looking into a mirror.
From the people who brought you soap on a rope comes soap on a wall mount. Happy washing. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hello Nyon and Lausanne Switzerland

Sometimes it's just impossible to say no. For example, our friend Knut recently accepted a job in Geneva, Switzerland (while his partner is finishing up her teaching gig with us in Egypt) invited us for a visit. Our other choice was to stay back in the heat and humidity of Alexandria and partake in the Ramadan festivities. It was a tough decision.

This would be Knut's and Ji's new digs. You wouldn't know it by this photo but the lawn hadn't been cut in quite awhile; add a daily rain to the mix and you have the start of a mini forest. In my quest to see how much yard work I could get myself involved with this summer I quickly jumped at the opportunity. A little note on the laws and regulations regarding yard work-No grass cutting or noise making on Sundays or holidays. All grass clippings must be disposed by loading it into a car and driven to a recycling center. Our major stumbling block was the lack of a car since Ji and Knut don't own one. All the clippings were secretly stashed on the side of the house AND there was plenty-I emptied the mower bag no less than 15 times!    
I should mention that Ji and Knut live outside of Geneva in the quaint little village of Nyon. The most direct route to and from Geneva is by train, the scenic ride passes through vineyards and farms overlooking Lake Geneva. Pictured above is Nyon Castle dating back to the 1200's.    
Opposite of the castle.
Below the castle appears to be a community garden. 
Gazing over to France. 
The castle provides many views of sailboats on the lake.  

A park.
Colonia Iulia Equestris/Noviodunun-a former Roman colony from 45 B.C.
Roman Museum
Julius Caesar statue outside the Roman Museum.
Typical house in Nyon's center.
 Reformed Church of Notre Dame
At McClean your personal hygiene is their top priority, conveniently located in Lausanne's train station. Ana and I thought a 35 minute train trip up to Lausanne would be a good way to spend the afternoon. 
At the foot of Port d'Ouchy. It was an easy walk down the hill to the lakeside from the train station. We picked-up a free tourist map and went from there.
Beau Rivage Palace-an overnight stay will set you back about $1000 USD.

Nag Arnoldi's sculpture L'Elan sits in front of Olympic Museum Park.
We weren't quite sure what the Olympic Museum would entail, we got as far as the sculpture garden and gift shop.
Non-Violence sculpture by Carl Fredrik Reutersward.

Olympia by Gabor Mihaly uses the bicycle tires to create the Olympic rings if you look at it from the correct angle. 
Keeping the flame alive.
Musée de l'Elysée (Photography museum) near The Olympic Museum was closed. We were hoping to catch the Man Ray exhibit. 
Xenophobic ads anyone?
Gardens and historic buildings lead the way to the town's historic center.
This could be your new flat. 
Lausanne Cathedral. Click here to read more.

The construction on the Cathedral begun in the mid 1100's and ended a little more than 100 years after.  

Below the Cathedral sits a garden. There are only a few paved roads for cars but most of the historic center is surrounded with walking paths. 
Fountain of Justice on place Palud
"The work of Laurent Perroud and his son Jacques, who took it over after the death of his father, this monument to renaissance workmanship was built between 1584 and 1585 and sports the symbols of justice with a young woman with bandaged eyes holding a sword and scales, perched on a column overhanging a pool."
Lausanne Tower on Rue de la Tour.