Paris: the cultural tour

I have been in Paris for seven days and have seen more museums in one week than I have ever before in any city.  Some highlights have include, La Gaite Lyrique a cool centre for digital culture, where we happened to be there for the free evening concert and enjoyed the chilled sounds of Camp Claude.  Palais de Tokyo has been another highlight, an experimental and contemporary space that-

promotes contemporary art with an eclectic and inventive programming on emerging artists from all backgrounds.

Of course there has been the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay (where we queued in the rain for almost an hour to get in, as tourists do, we clearly don’t have this problem in Australia) and the Pompidou Centre.  After tweeting  Musee du Quai Branly about their awesome program Electronic Naps I was invited by the lovely Sebastien Magro to view their exhibitions, talk about the collections and digital culture, gotta love twitter for this. (big thanks to Sebastien for taking the time to contact me and show me around).

Although I am in complete awe of the sense of history and the artworks inside the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay I must say I am drawn to the more experimental and slightly off the edge contemporary art venues and centres for culture, places that are mixing music, programming, outdoor culture and art in interesting ways.  Thank you Paris for a great week!

Bring the art to everyone: Sydney street photography exhibition

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For those of you that know me know that I am slightly obsessed with photography, exhibitions that are open for everyone and a bit of troublemaking, non-approved activity that benefits communities.  So the ‘not approved’ photography exhibition that is currently on show between Goulbourn and Campbell streets in Sydney has caught my attention  and I finally got the pleasure of seeing this yesterday.  It was installed in September and features the work of  photographers Dean Sewell, James Brickwood, Nic Walker, James ‘Blondie’ Alcock, George Voulgaropoulos and Andrew Quilty.  This series of street photography was put up one night without council permission (see this article from the Sydney Morning Herald)

Dean Sewell divides Sydney’s creative class into two categories: those who contribute, and the ”culture vultures” who don’t.

The council has decided to let this photography exhibition stay up which I think is a smart decision.  I love that this exhibition is here for everyone and would love to see more of this happen in Sydney.  We have so many interesting buildings and locations that can be utilised for art.  As I was taking these images for my blog two people walking past me commented.

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Hey check out these photos-isn’t that weird?

At first I thought this was a criticism but the more I think about it I believe it is great that these people noticed this exhibition.  They acknowledged its presence and looked at the photographs.  If this was advertising they would have walked straight past and probably not mentioned anything.

I’d love to see more exhibitions turn up all around Sydney that will bring a sense of surprise, openness to art that will hopefully start conversations and allow people to engage in culture.  Well done to the organisers and I hope it stays up a bit longer.

Exhibition views Paula Bray CC-BY-NC