This is a round-up of various bits of news but first a challenge:
How many people do you think come into Aix, from outside, to work every day? The answer is at the end of this post…
The ‘Parcours d’Art Contemporain’ is continuing to make waves.
The structure Abbottabad in the courtyard of the Hotel de Gallifet is the subject of an interesting essay by Alain Paire who has a gallery in town and a very stimulating website. He is fascinated by the piece and declares his friends to be ‘enchantés‘. He has written a long piece which may interest you if you have visited this recreation of Bin Laden’s complex in Pakistan:
Apparently the Chinese artist was hoping it would be installed in the courtyard of the Hotel de Ville, but the organisers felt that it would be too controversial.
Instead we have the Le Monument by Xavier Veilhan which seems to have been well-received. According to the panel, ‘The viewer is invited to enter it. It is a self-contained space that is and can be shared’. I think these two young ladies were very much enjoying the invitation today, sitting on it and having a long conversation.
Well, if we are being invited to get involved in the art-works, someone today has made a start in the Cours Mirabeau and has interacted with the dotty trees……..Basically it says, ‘I must have been smoking. The trees are red and covered with white dots’. I wonder if this will start a trend of comments?
Just to go back to Alain Paire’s website, he has written an excellent tribute to Jean Ely who died at Christmas. M. Ely was from the family of photographers who have been working in Aix since the late 19th century when photography was in its early days. Each generation has produced a fine photographer and they have been in town recording all the key moments in its history. There was an expo of their work some years ago (before my time) but the catalogue ‘ La Seconde et Le Siecle: Photos Henry Ely Aix’ is one of my favourite local books. Highly recommended.
Now for the answer to the challenge at the top of the post which is: 43,000 a day! No wonder the traffic is so horrrendous. To make things worse, there are 18,000 people each day heading out of town and then there are the 38,000 travelling from home to work within the Pays d’Aix. Of these commuters, 81% are in private cars. Cauchemar! The town is currently displaying its PLU – Plan Local d’Urbanisme – which gives all the data on the area’s plans for development, with details on what is protected and what is ear-marked for expansion. The town authorities have to work over the next 10 years to provide 10,000 new homes including 2,000 for students. You can see the exhibition at the Salle Pavillon at the Hotel de Ville, Tues-Fri 10-13, 15-18:30 and Saturdays 10-13. Until 15th Feb. See also www.aixenconcertation.fr.