MUCEM’s first exhibitions both end on 6th January and the programme for 2014 has been announced. From 11th March, there will be an expo on Volubilis, an ancient town which became an outpost of the Roman empire near Meknes in Morocco. Bronzes from the museum in Rabat will be brought over to Marseille where they will be shown alongside exhibits from museums in France. To complement this, works from contemporary Moroccan artists will be exhibited in the Fort St Jean.
The second expo will open on 25th March and is entitled: ‘Le Monde a l’Envers, Carnavals et Mascarades d’Europe et de Méditerranée’. It will trace the significance of the Carnaval in the region and illustrate its historical roots with costumes, photos, films and paintings since it has inspired many artists.
Then from 21st October, ‘Sur les Chemins d’Odessa’ will focus on the history of the town from its inception until the end of the 19th century; and an exhibition entitled ‘Food’, which has been showing in Geneva and is currently in Italy, will be coming to MUCEM.
All very esoteric.
This point was put to Bruno Suzzarelli, the president of MUCEM by La Provence in a recent interview. The new museum has of course been a massive success – France 3 said that there have been 2.5 million visitors so far this year; but while the building and its incomparable site have won plaudits, the contents have been less popular. M Suzzarelli explained that the museum’s function is to display broad social themes rather than the work of one particular artist which is what the public are used to. He feels that there is value in this different approach because it raises questions in the visitors’ minds; and this approach he says will continue.
So prepare to be challenged at MUCEM next year!
Posted in Art, Event, Patrimoine | Tagged Marseille, Musée de Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée, Volubilis | Leave a Comment »
The current show at the Carrieres de Lumieres at Les Baux, ‘Monet, Renoir…Chagall: Journeys Around the Mediterranean’ comes to an end on 6th January. It is a breathtakingly colourful show which ties in with the MP2013 Year of Culture programme and is especially resonant for people living locally.
But the 2014 theme promises to be equally colourful if not so relevant geographically. ‘De Klimt a Hundertwasser: UnSiecle d’Or et de Couleurs’ will bring 100 years of Viennese painting to the rough walls of the former quarry. It will include portraits and landscapes from both artists as well as the works of Schiele. The show will run daily from 7th March 2014 to 5th Jan 2015.
In the meantime, if you haven’t seen the current show, do try to - a very beautiful if rather cold experience! Open daily 10-18:00.
Posted in Art, Event | Tagged Carrieres de Lumiere, De Klimt a Hundertwasser, Les Baux de Provence | Leave a Comment »
Details of next year’s big summer exhibition at Aix’s Musée Granet have been announced.
‘Cézanne et la Modernité’ will bring 50 works from the Pearlman Collection to town 11th July – 5th October. These pictures will include watercolours by Cézanne as well as impressionist and post-impressionist paintings from the collection.
Henry Pearlman was a New York businessman with a passion for art – he and his wife built up a formidable collection of 19th and 20th century pictures. Since his death in 1974, the paintings have been kept at Princeton University. They are going on tour in 2014, first to the Ashmolean in Oxford, then Aix, followed by Atlanta and Vancouver. You can read more here: http://www.pearlmancollection.org/about
This watercolour from the collection by Cezanne is intriguing. I wondered why he never painted urban scenes of Aix itself…but here is one! It shows the fountain in the place d’Hotel de Ville. I hope this is included in the forthcoming exhibition.
Posted in Art, Event | Tagged Aix-en-Provence, Musee Granet, Paul Cézanne, Princeton University | Leave a Comment »
How pretty the Rotonde looks this Christmas! Wandering through Aix last evening was just enchanting – the lights down the cours Mirabeau are fabulous and it was so good to see so many families out enjoying the seasonal ambiance.
The Groupe F show at the Grand Theatre lit up the sky with golden fireworks, lasers, stunning catherine wheels and huge bursts of fire – all to the sound of techno – for 30 incredible minutes.
The market is drawing the crowds as usual:
Families thronging the cours Mirabeau
Choosing santons to add to the creche
Always popular – the chalet selling hot wine!
I was sorry to see that the magic guy isn’t here this year – he was the one who had a chalet where he did card tricks and really drew the crowds. I have read that he applied for his usual pitch and didn’t get it. There’s now a Facebook page protesting about this decision. My French isn’t great so I missed the nuances of this – does anyone know what happened?
In parallel with the festivities is the annual Phot’Aix: it’s a trail around 28 in-town locations to see the work of 47 photographers. This year the theme is ‘Regards Croisés Mediterranée’.
The Musée de Tapisseries is a good starting point. It’s 3.50€ to see several of the series of pictures by various Mediterranean-based photographers. There, you can pick up a map of locations which take in art-galleries and book-stores around town where you can see more photos.
The gentleman (I think) in the poster, with a great deal of fruit on his hat, is the work of Chaza Charafeddine who explores the questions of ‘genre, pop art and Islamic art’ too. Interesting! Here is the website for more info http://www.fontaine-obscure.com/pages/photaix_RC.htm which has a map of venues and also details of a photo competition if you think you can do better!
And finally, today, with families arriving to admire the Christmas markets and lights….
the town toilet is ‘en panne’. You really couldn’t make it up!
Posted in Event, Patrimoine | Tagged Aix-en-Provence, Christmas, cours Mirabeau, Rotonde | 1 Comment »
In Spring last year, Marseille residents and visitors were invited to upload their photos to the ‘Chercheurs du Midi’ website to construct a communal photo album of life in Provence. Continue Reading »
Posted in Event, Patrimoine | Tagged Encore Un Beau Jour, J1, Marseille, New Year's Eve in Marseille, Provence | Leave a Comment »
Did you know that today is the first Journée Mondiale des Toilettes? That was the question posed to me today by Juliet from the Var. She goes on to say that clearly it is a campaign to ameliorate appalling conditions in the third world but ‘on the radio they mentioned that Marseille should buck up its ideas a bit since there were only 7 public toilets in the whole of Marseille. I assume that’s 7 sets of toilets, not 7 in total! ‘ she adds.
Aixcentric mentioned this issue about a year ago and since then the town authorities have installed one WC near the Rotonde. Apparently there will be some loos at the renovated gare routier (which is looking lovely BTW). But for a town that has welcomed the Tour de France, masses of visitors for Year of Culture events plus numerous tourists bused in from cruise ships, this is a very inadequate response. There seems to be money galore for new buildings plus the smart restoration of old ones – all appreciated – but nothing for this most basic of needs. The tourist office have even tacked up a sign ‘No Toilets’ – not very helpful.
So here’s a suggestion for the town authorities. I recently visited Richmond in Surrey, a historical town on the Thames…and was delighted to see these signs.
Nearly 100 shops and cafés are part of a scheme which allows people to come in and use their loos free of charge – I believe they get a small grant from the local council. Not only a Community Toilet Scheme but also Sit Stop for people who just need a rest – elderly, pregnant or just plain tired: ‘Come In and Have a Seat’ say the stickers in over 80 businesses.
It made this visitor feel welcomed and wanted – and, incidentally, much more likely to buy from the participating shops.
How about it Aix and Marseille?
Posted in Miscellaneous | 4 Comments »
There is to be a giant Free Lunch for 5000 people in Marseille on Saturday 23rd organised by Disco Soupe. Its aim is to publicise the problems of food waste and will be using up perfectly good food which would otherwise have been binned.
It will follow a similar event in Trafalgar Square this week called ‘Come Swine With Us’ where meat from 8 pigs will be served to the crowds by top chefs. The pigs have been fed a balanced diet based on unsold foods from UK shops. (http://www.feeding5k.org/)
The Marseille event will take place in front of the Hotel de Ville 12-18:00hrs. The organisers are appealing for help the previous day (lots of chopping!) and also at the lunch itself. Details:
Posted in Event, Food | Tagged Food waste, Lunch for 5000, Marseille | Leave a Comment »