France Day 20 The Louvre

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If you want to see a nice, close-up view of the Mona Lisa, look her up on-line or in an art book, because you can’t get a good look at her at the Louvre.

The Louvre has a current exhibit of a large-scale series of installations, encounters, theater performances and public activities by Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto (1933, Biella). The exhibit is titled Year 1: Earthly Paradise, and it marks “the transition into the new era of human, social, and cultural metamorphosis that was celebrated all over the world… The exhibition embodies three different time frames: the past, in the context of a retrospective; the present seen in the mirror works reflecting the visitors; and the future in a great obelisk topped with a triple loop, a symbol of this ongoing revolution. Thus the sign of the “third paradise” adorns the pyramid… Spirituality, figuration, the breaking down of boundaries between the arts, social solidarity, and the merging of life and art: these are the themes permeating the thinking of Michelangelo Pistoletto…”

Every other photo in this set of photos is a photo of a Pistoletto installation. Most of these are from the mirror installations, but there were video installations where we were live in the video along with all the recorded video. One installation was neon in different languages in the medieval part of the Louvre and the last installation we saw was a room of mirrors. I also included a shot of Laurie in the tiny elevator in our building as it fit well with Pistoletto’s idea of past and present.

If you haven’t figured out that the Louvre is crowded, it is. It’s very difficult to get a photo of a painting without visitors in it, except for occasional breaks in the crowd and photographing ceilings. So I just view the crowd as part of the art experience.

We went to Handel’s opera Guilio Caesare last night. The orchestra used instruments from the period, which blended particularly well with the voices; the sets were monumental; the performers were fantastic. We were in a box seat slightly to the right of center stage on the first mezzanine level with 5 other people. The theater was packed. We arrived 40 minutes early, which allowed me to get some photos of the interior of the theater with my iPhone (last photo).

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