Posts Tagged ‘Cité du Livre’

the-famous-pose-of-albert-camus1It’s the centenary of the birth of Albert Camus and at last there is a good exhibition on his life and work.  Throughout the year, I have been reading about the controversial background to this, with disagreement between curators, the town authorities and the author’s family…….but finally a team of 4 academics have curated the show and I found it stimulating.

I chose that word carefully because, although I have read some of his novels and understood some of the exhibition content (all naturally in French), I felt stimulated to go back later – once I have read more about this complex man in English and got to grips with it all.

Instead of being the usual canter through an artist’s life, the curators have organised the show into 10 themes, each with biographical detail and photography, but also with extracts from his writing and philosophy.  The website explains that it is an ‘experience with the visitor plunged into a stage-set of text’ which sort of sums it up.

Albert Camus – Citoyen du Monde is at the Galerie Zola which is part of the Cite du Livre complex.  Open 10-21:00hrs Tues; 10-19:00hrs Wed-Sat.  Details: www.citedulivre-aix.com.

There is also a programme of related films at the Institut de l’Image next door.  On Tuesday 29th October, they will be showing ‘Le Premier Homme’ based on the autobiographical novel, and in the presence of his daughter, Catherine Camus.

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There are posters all over town for Le Salon Sm’art which starts on Thursday in the parc Jourdan. This is a very large gathering of 170 artists – painters, sculptors, photographers, designers and gallery owners – which began back in 2006. It was previously held in the grounds of a château near Pont de l’Arc which was fine until one year it poured and we visitors had to contend with an awful lot of mud to see the exhibits. So it’s good news for the 14000+ expected visitors that it’s now in town. With so many exhibitors, you are bound to find something interesting – they usually have some very challenging and stimulating artists involved. You can see some examples on www.salonsmart-aix.com which has an English translation (good) but why on earth (and here comes an Aixcentric hobby-horse) don’t they get one of the many expats around town to run an eye over their English? They are promising “the desire to create, the fun to seduce”…my goodness. It’s on from 3rd-7th May.

Elsewhere on Thursday is a one-day conference on the subject of France’s highly controversial bad-boy novelist Michel Houellebecq who will be making an appearance. I recently read his Goncourt-Prize-winning novel ‘The Map and the Territory’ which I found to be fascinating, challenging and thought-provoking, unlike ‘Atomised’ which was misogynistic and unpleasant. The conference features various academics talking on aspects of his work – in French. From 18:00 there will be readings from his work by actors in the presence of Houellebecq. At the Cité des Livre: http://www.citedulivre-aix.com. The conference is organised by www.univ-amu.fr, contact absa.ndiaye@univ-amu.fr.

Finally, a pleasant place for a light lunch, just a few paces from the cours Mirabeau.  A group of us tried ‘Basilic & Citronnelle’ which is a small restaurant at 5 rue de l’Opéra.

They offer a plat du jour, various quiches and also an assiette végétarienne (pictured right).  They have home-made pâtisseries for afters and with coffee, the bill came to just under 20€ each.  It’s open every day except Sunday, lunchtimes only.  04 42 27 58 77.

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