Oslo : Mostly Outdoors

Las Chicas are eager to visit Norway for the first time. Another leg on the Interrail pass proves to be a little less about comfort, as NSB (Norges Statsbaner or Norwegian State Railways) changes us, unannounced, to a bus. Some three hours later we land in Oslo, drag our bags through the train station and are greeted by one of many sculptures to come.

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An ultramodern city full of amazing art, architecture, great food, masses of water and forest, and only one full day to explore. So we make the best of the remaining afternoon hours because the sun isn’t setting before 10, and take a stroll through the city nearby.

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We don’t go far before we encounter one of the many trendy pop-up restaurants for dinner. Beer, sweet potatoes fries and Thai curry will do the trick.

IMG_3236After dinner we continue on our walk, past fountains and flowers.

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6B879536-1F44-4B60-84FE-0F7083FF1552the Parliament building, called the Storting or Stortinget in Norwegian meaning the “great assembly”,

2AC6A937-8049-44F1-BDE1-F52C7A5F5076and onto the Royal Palace.

IMG_3247Behind the palace we find water and mushroom-like creations that amuse us.

0B39EE1A-8B36-4337-A92C-BF9A4E129EE5We also enjoy some of the local street art.

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“The Priest” by street artist Dolk, who we discovered in Malmo.

The art of a local eatery close to the hotel.

After a short sleep, we head out into Oslo. We have many great tips from the Visit Oslo website. Architecture and outdoor sculpture parks should keep us busy for the better part of the day.

First to Frogner Park, where the Vigeland Sculpture Park is located. We join multitudes of tourists at the entrance to see the 200+ sculptures. Gustav Vigeland created these wonders over a period of only 20 years from 1924-1943 and donated them to the city of Oslo; the land was donated free to display this collection. The theme is focused on family and the human condition.

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3435BE1D-9676-4C6E-9FED-A5EF95A9F4A1Some pieces are a bit startling, like the series depicting the struggle between reptile and human. With the exception of the one embracing a woman, it appears the lizard is battling with or consuming the human. One source suggests the reptile represents evil and reflects the struggle of the human condition.

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596D7646-878B-40C8-AD60-F2364DFF9C1DOnto the lighter side, here are a few of our favorites.

83DEE129-7DDA-4FA4-AC7B-1723DE7F8F84The fountain, originally designed for the outside entrance of the Norwegian Parliament building.

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The Wheel of Life,  a sundial positioned at the very end of an 850-meter axis.

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The Monolith, 14.12-meter high, a symbolic sculpture consisting of 121 intertwined human figures.

Next stop, Oslo’s waterfront and the Aker Brygge Wharf, previously an old shipyard. The boardwalk is full of  many fabulous restaurants, but we choose gelato for our noontime refreshment,

IMG_3302while enjoying the SUPs in the harbor.

IMG_3300We head to the Astrup Fearnley Museum, designed by starchitect Renzo Piano.

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Surrounded by water and the second sculpture park of the day,  Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park, we opt for outside art and bypass the inside collection.

Onto the Oslo Opera House, with a few local sights on the way.

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It’s a bit warm to take advantage of this sauna boat.

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A favorite, the olfactory history moment.

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Oslo Opera House, home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, designed by a local architecture firm and the recipient of many awards.

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Many interesting features,

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with great rooftop views,

IMG_3348including the ever-present cranes dotting the city and building the future Oslo.

IMG_3346Onward we test the pedestrian bridge,

A30A286E-800F-411B-A7D0-AE1D4E4BC30Cwith its interesting views of the Barcode district, 12 buildings designed to resemble a barcode.

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Evening is quickly approaching and the third sculpture park awaits us. Another trip on Oslo’s impressive transit takes us to the bottom of the park, with many surprises ahead.

Shortly after entering the park we encounter sculptures by some well known artists:IMG_3368
Auguste Rodin’s “Cariatide Tombee Á Lúrne”

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir, “Venus Vistrix”

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Salvador Dalí, “Venus de Milo Aux Tiroirs”

What a special evening this turns out to be. We amble up hills and around bends to discover other unexpected treasures. The park is open 24/7, with little or no apparent security. It’s an amazing collection.

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Sarah Sze, “Still Life with Landscape”

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Dan Graham, “Pavillion”
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Louise Bourgeois, “The Couple”

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Hilde Maehlum, “Konkavt Ansikt” (translated, Concave Face)
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Sean Henry, “Walking Woman”

In addition to art, we explore archeology.

8A19B9F5-9303-472B-A1CB-7DDC8734637ASteinsetning – Stone Circle
This megalithic structure, once likely 7 stones now 4, was not excavated.

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Skålgroper – Cup Marks
These cup-shaped indentations are the most common form of rock art in Norway, dating back to the late Bronze Age or early Iron Age. The natural setting enhances the beauty of everything around us.

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But one last surprise.

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Fujiko Nakaya, “Pathfinder #18700 Oslo”

 

© Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds, 2018

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Malmøhus Slot (Castle) and the Mexican Suitcase

We take in a little bit of Malmø history and visit the Malmøhus Slot, before heading north to our next Swedish destination.

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Originally built in 1434 Erik av Pommem, then King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, this castle, aka Malmøhus Fortress, was important to Danish sovereignty at the time.  The Sound was a vital passage to the lucrative trade of the Baltic region. Rebuilt and renovated several times, in 1658 it came under Swedish rule. And by the end of the 18th century, the fortress no longer had any military significance so was converted into a prison, housing over 1,000 prisoners until 1914 when the prisoners were moved to a new location.

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As we head out the gate after being a little bored by this slice of history, we see a large poster advertising an exhibit inside. The Mexican Suitcase: Rediscovered Spanish Civil War Negatives. Perhaps not a topic of interest to many, but Las Chicas, having lived in Catalunya for two years, have developed an interest in Spanish history. Curious about this seemingly out of place exhibit, we pay the admission fee and head inside to investigate.

In December 2007, a Mexican filmmaker, Benjamin Tarver, discovered three boxes of negatives in the possession of his late aunt. These negatives had belonged to a family friend, General Francisco Aguilar González, a Mexican Ambassador to Vichy, France, in 1941-42. Apparently Aguílar managed to smuggle out the negatives in their twenty trunks of belongings on their return to Mexico.

Upon investigation, Tarver discovered the boxes contained 4,500 original negatives of the Spanish Civil War, negatives taken by Civil War photographers Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, Fred Stein and David Seymour (Chim), that had disappeared 70 years earlier.

Pictured from left to right, Taro, Capa, Stein, Seymour (Chim)

Born Gerda Pohorylle, Taro was one of the first recognized female photojournalists. Of German Jewish descent, Taro was raised in Leipzig but fled to Paris in 1933, where she met André Friedmann. The two reinvented themselves as Taro and Capa, and worked together to photograph the Spanish Civil War on the front lines. Taro lost her life in only one year into her coverage of the war, during one of the fiercest battles, the Battle of Brunete. She was the first female journalist to lose her life on the front lines of war.

Robert Capa, aka Friedmann, was a prominent photojournalist in the 20th century. Born to a Jewish family in Budapest, he fled Hungary for Berlin at the age of 17, because of his leftist activities, and enrolled in journalism school. He then moved to Paris in 1933, where he met Taro and Stein.

Third in the crew was Fred Stein. Also born a German Jew, Stein fled to Paris in 1933, when he was unable to practice law in his home country. In Paris he worked as a photographer and kept company with intellectuals such as Hannah Arendt.

Chim was born Dawid Szymin in Warsaw Poland to a Yiddish/Hebrew publishing family. He took to photography early and traveled to Paris to attend the Sorbonne. Recognized for his political  photographs, he photographed the entire Civil War in Spain, but from a distance, centering in on the complexities of the political landscape of that time.

The photographs tell the story of war from a variety of angles: the soldiers and their families,

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the political climate, still not well understood by many today.

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Translation: Workers! There are only two ways to win the war. Fight with determination at the front, and work tirelessly at the rear. Comrades, work intensively and with enthusiasm! So we will win!

The suffering and destruction,

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People pressing against the gate at the morgue, waiting for news about their relatives.

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Following a major air raid in Valencia

and images of a proud people supporting their country. (Below: Soldiers working alongside farmers in the fields.)

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Taro’s photos depict some of the most hideous results of the war, including her photos from the morgue. They are a bit too much for me to photograph.  Instead, here is the comment attached to these photos,

“Taro showed the atrocious consequence of a new kind of war, in which the civilian population became the main target of enemy forces.”

The content of the exhibition was made into a documentary, “La Maleta Mexicana” (The Mexican Suitcase), available on Amazon. You can read more about the story and related information,  A Secret Archive: On the Mexican Suitcase

© Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds, 2018

Malmö: Cool City by the Sea

Las Chicas return to 🇸🇪 Sweden in hopes of escaping the unrelenting summer heat of Berlin. Our first stop is Malmö, just across the channel (30-minute train ride) from Copenhagen. Record breaking heat in Malmö too? Hotel air-conditioning to the rescue!

Malmö’s city center contains a mix of very old and very new buildings. St. Peter’s Church in the Gothic style, built in 1319:

The church is under renovation, so it holds services in this dome festooned with small rainbow ribbons representing universal inclusiveness.

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Starchitect Santiago Calatrava’s Twisted Torso, which twists a full 90 degrees from bottom to top. With 54 storeys, it’s the tallest building in Scandinavia:

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Above is an new extension designed by Australian Kim Utzon for the World Maritime University (below), a United Nations Institution. The brick university building is the former Malmö Harbor Master’s building.

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During a day of walking around the city, Mary relaxes in a temporary lounge chair, among many couches and chairs built for fans of the upcoming Malmö festival.

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The Clarion Hotel makes its bid for Scandi-cool design:IMG_1138

Green glass curves greet us as we emerge from the train station. It’s called “Glasvasen” and designed by Kanozi Arkitekter.

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Like other Scandinavian cities, Malmö boasts thought-provoking public art too.

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“Non-Violence” by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, 1 of 16 of his knotted guns around the world.

“Way to Go” includes nineteen bronze shoes that represent artists from different eras and professions. The shoes point to a place that was important to each artist.

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“Optimistic Orchestra” by cubist sculptor Yngve Lundell.  He said it was a tribute to “two positively disobedient people,” Lech Walesa and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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“Rubato – Free Flow” by  Eva Hild. She created this aluminum curvy sculpture as an antidote to the city’s boxy buildings.

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“The Spectral Self Container” in colorful fiberglass by Matti Kallioine, with small boat harbor on the left and harbor buildings behind it.

Sculpture and shadow along the canal, but we fail to get name and artist!

From architecture to design, we visit a Swedish design store. Mary spots the neck bike helmet, created in Sweden, on sale; then we see a cyclist wearing one. We spot several cyclists using this self-inflating balloon helmet throughout our travels in Scandinavia.

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More Swedish specialties! Below left: “Upcycle” display from the festival, how to use recycled glass and broken cement. Below right: “Caviar” fish paste that comes in tubes in a variety of flavors from shrimp to garlic. Mary tests this savory spread at the hotel breakfast buffet and dislikes it.

We bike to the Ribersborgs Kallbadhus (cold bath house) on the sea. We walk out the long pier to an old wooden building perched on pilings. The original building was constructed in 1898, but has been renovated several times since then.

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Lisa riding the rental bike with ferry to Finland in the background; locks and tiny lockers at the bath house.

The bath house has single sex bathing areas, plus single sex and co-ed sauna spaces.  Open all year so winter guests alternate icy plunges into the sea and steamy or dry saunas. We pay our fee and enter the women’s side, changing out of our clothes and into nothing! Textile free” like everyone else, we walk outside, past the bath (actually sea water) surrounded by an interior deck and changing rooms.

Ready for this new Swedish experience, we head to the exterior deck and staircase into the open sea. Women and girls of all ages enjoy the water and sunshine.  Lisa immediately heads into the sea and dives right in. The temperature is perfect as we swim and float, get out for some sun, in again for more swimming.  At the bath, we experience lagom (pronounced laaaw-gum), the Swedish word for health and contentment.

© Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds, 2018

 

Artsy Cologne

Las Chicas have a surprisingly art-filled holiday in Köln (Cologne). Most famous for the Cologne Cathedral, we enjoy the artistic side of the city beginning with our hotel, Art’otel.

The hotel features art prints of SEO, a Korean-born artist who now lives in Berlin. The colorful theme of her works is water – flowing and making connections.  In addition to prints of her art posted on the walls, each room has a large glass reproduction of one of SEO’s works that doubles as a wall in the shower.

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Beyond the hotel, the Rhine River creates its own natural art.

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Other art decorates the city, like HA Shult’s  golden winged car on top of the municipal museum.

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Or this more solemn remembrance:

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One cannot travel in Germany without regular reminders of the violence of the past, and the strength of those who resisted, endured, survived and died.

We continue our art-filled day with a visit to Museum Ludwig, home to an impressive collection of modern art.

The first collection we view is from another Korean artist who migrated to Berlin,  Haegue Yang, winner of the 2018 Wolfgang Hahn Prize. ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) 1994 – 2018, is an overview or survey collection ranging from textiles to journal entries, room-sized sculptures to small collections in cases.

I am moved by a series of journal entries posted on the wall talking about Yang’s immigration to Germany.  She writes,

” A person can be nervous spending even one night at another person’s house. Imagine so much more so in a foreign country. More over, I couldn’t read anything, so was suddenly illiterate. I didn’t know the language so I became deaf and dumb…” 

I have shared these experiences. Art is meant to evoke feeling, to connect people and experiences. But there is no apparent connection in the diversity of pieces in this collection. Regardless, they are engaging.

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The Intermediate – Tilted, Bushy, Lumpy, Bumpy – 2016

IMG_1988Sol LeWitt Upside Down – K123456, Expanded 1078 Times, Doubled and Mirrored

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The exhibit also provides opportunities to interact with the art.

But this is only the beginning. We enjoy art from Mark Rothko,

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Earth and Green, 1955

Helen Frankenthaler,

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Stroke of High Tide I, (Flutschlag I), 1974

and one of my favorites, Paul Klee. Klee and Kandinsky have been on our minds lately as we learn about the Bauhaus movement, celebrating its 100th year in 2019.

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Hauptweg and Nebenwege (Highways and Byways), 1929

There is also a brilliant collection of Pop Art.  Original works by Warhol and Lichtenstein.

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IMG_2024Claus Oldenburg, Giant Soft Swedish Light Switch (Ghost Version), 1966

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Tom Wesselmann, Landscape No. 2, 1964

Before leaving, Mary takes the opportunity to create some pop art of her own.

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© Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds, 2018

 

 

 

Forgotten Women Sculptors of Berlin

We ride our bikes to see over 100 sculptures by Berlin women from the modernist era (most created between WWI and WWII). It’s the last weekend of this exhibition at The Georg Kolbe Museum: “The First Generation: Women Sculptors of Berlin Modernism.”

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The look of peace emanating from this face was captured in bronze by the Marg Moll. Moll began her career as a painter, then shifted her medium to sculpture, inspired by Louise Schmidt. She is most famous for the sculpture “Dancer,” not part of this exhibition. In 1943, Moll and her artist husband lost nearly all of their work when their home was bombed.

Many of the ten female sculptors with works on display sculpted bronze, wood, and marble. They flourished during the 1920s, a time when Berlin celebrated cultural diversity. The celebration abruptly ended with the rise of National Socialism. The Nazis closed art schools,  stripped women of their status as artists and teachers, and banned them from purchasing materials because of their gender, because they were Jewish, or both.

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Some sculptors focused on familiar animals. Renée Sintenis sculpted this donkey, but she’s most famous for sculpting the “Berlin Bear.” This figure welcomes drivers into the city at the former Dreilinden border crossing near the Zellendorf neighborhood of Berlin (photo below from Flickr):

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Sintenis was named to the Academy of Arts the 1920s, but expelled in 1934 because her grandmother was Jewish. In 1955, she became one of the first female professors at the University of the Arts in Berlin.

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Gross Daphne (Large Daphne) by Renée Sintenis.

Other animal sculptures had a more exotic quality to them. IMG_1309 copy

The small-format bushbaby (nocturnal primate native to east Africa), was created by Christa Winsloe. A sculptor in her early career, Winsloe focused most of her time on writing.  Her plays were the basis for several films including Mädchen in Uniform (Girls in Uniform),  loosely autobiographical about her experience in a military-like boarding school, and considered to be icon of early lesbian cinema. But like many female sculptors of that time, much of her work has been lost.

Louise Stomps was one of the first women to study at Berlin’s University of the Arts in 1928. After WWII, Frankfurt art dealer Hanna Bekker vom Rath supported her by regularly exhibiting the sculptor’s organic and abstract forms.  The city of Berlin later purchased several of Stomps’ works in bronze and wood.

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Kleine Ruhende (Small Dormant Figure) by Louis Stomps.

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Sakral (Sacred) by Louise Stomps.

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Kleiner Rufer (Little Caller) by Louise Stomps.

Käthe Kollwitz was the first woman elected to the Prussian Academy of Arts. A committed socialist and pacifist, the artist is known for depicting  working class people suffering from the effects of hunger, poverty and war. She lost her youngest son during World War I. After the pain she and other families endured, she wrote: “There has been enough of dying! Let not another man fall!”

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Mutter mit zwei kinder (Mother with two children) by Käthe Kollwitz.IMG_1302 copy

Abschied (Farewell) by Käthe Kollwitz.

In 1933, the Nazi party forced Kollwitz to resign her position at the Academy of Künste, and banned her work from being displayed. However, the Nazis did use one of her images, “Mother and Child” as propoganda.  The Nazis declared her to be a “degenerate artist” in 1936. During the World War II, she fled to a small town near Dresden, where she died in 1945, just days before the war ended.

She is honored in Berlin with a statue in Kollwitzplatz in the Prenzlauer berg neighborhood, where a street is also named after her.

IMG_1300 copyGottes Hand (God’s Hand) by Milly Steger.

Milly Steger became municipal sculptor for the city of Hagen (in western Germany), which commissioned her to create large-scale architectural sculptures. Four larger than life female nudes she made for the facade of the Hagen Theater created a scandal and made the artist known throughout Germany. Like other women sculptors, her work was declared “degenerate” by the Nazis. She worked for just a few years in Berlin after WWII; she died of cancer in 1948.

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Hagen Theater figures by Milly Steger. From website: https://www.wp.de/staedte/hagen/diskussion-ueber-theater-zukunft-in-hagen-auf-den-8-mai-vertagt-id7873817.html

There is a different feeling in these rooms of sculpture created by women, most noticeably in the figures’ facial expressions.  The female figures here are loving, joyous, sad, intense, beautiful, sexual — a range of human being-ness.

After wandering through this amazing exhibit, we explore the small garden and works by sculptor Georg Kolbe.

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A lovely café lunch energizes us for the bike ride home through the shady Grunewald, and back to our Halensee neighborhood.

© Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds, 2018

 

Solo in Budapest

With a four-day weekend ahead, I decide to jump in and take myself on a holiday, solo, to Budapest. I’ve wanted to go there for some time. Initially I was curious about the thermal baths there. But the adventure and challenge of enjoying a holiday solo grew on me. Home safe now, I highly recommend both, solo adventures and visiting Budapest. Good for the soul to remember my own rhythm. Budapest was awesome. The people, the architecture, the vibe…

I manage to land a three-room apartment in District 5 on the Pest side of the city, a great location that allows me to walk to almost everything.

Wasting no time, I head to the river. The Danube is massive, it is the second largest river in Europe and clearly the center of much of the activity in Budapest.

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Its many bridges add to the charm. I am within walking distance of three:
Széchenyi Chain Bridge, a stone suspension bridge, circa 1800,

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the Elisabeth Bridge, named for a popular empress, and

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the Szabadság hid or Freedom Bridge. Each leads to new and memorable sights.

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The Freedom Bridge takes you in the direction of Szabadság-szobor, the Liberty or Freedom Statue. Perched 235 meters above the Danube on Gellért Hill, I climb to see this Hungarian Statue of Liberty. Constructed in 1947, it bore an inscription honoring the “Soviet heroes” who liberated Budapest from the Nazis. Years later, following the revolution from communism to democracy, the inscription on the statue was modified to honor all those who sacrificed themselves for freedom.

 

The Elizabeth Bridge is my access point for the Gellért Thermal Baths.

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Located on the Buda side, inside the Gellért Hotel,

 

the baths were built between 1912 -1918 in Art Nouveau style, although the use of the hot springs in the area dates back to the 12th century.

 

The experience is a bit underwhelming. It’s no Aire Baths experience like we’ve had in Barcelona. From my time of arrival it takes me at least 45 minutes to navigate the passages to the locker room, find an open locker, change, and wait 10 minutes in line for a towel, before reaching the pools. The pools are cooler than expected. But put me in water and I instantly relax, taking the opportunity to swim some mini laps and enjoy some moments of sun on the Shaze lounge.

Budapest has a lighthearted feeling, quite the opposite of what I expect of a post-war communist country, nearly decimated in WWII . In preparing for the trip, a friend mentions the ruin bars that have become quite the rage. What is a ruin bar ? Just as it sounds, they are bars created from abandoned buildings and vacant lots in the old Jewish Quarter, filled with kitschy stuff akin to Macklemore’s Thrift Shop, and the center of nightlife in Budapest.

I’m curious, but pass on the nighttime Ruin Bar Tour and instead opt for the weekend farm-to-table brunch at Szimpla Kert, the original ruin bar. Along with awesome food, it’s much easier to take in the decor in the daylight. I eat in a large open air room,

 

overlooking the patio-like space below.

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Keep in mind much of the bar is open to the elements, due to the lack of a roof over much of the building. I am grateful for a sunny day.

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Upon leaving, the sign outside puts the experience in perspective.

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Not far away, I catch only glimpses of the Dóhany Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe, as I arrive when it is closed for Shabbat. Originally constructed in Moorish Revival style in the 1850’s, it was bombed extensively during the war, but restored again, following the fall of communism, and completed in 1998.

 

I also visit the Buda Castle,

 

but I am a bit confused about where the castle begins/ends in relation to the National Gallery.

 

Apparently I am not alone, as I discover when inquiring to my French neighbors sitting on the steps. The best answer from the Info Desk is I can see the castle on the outside and the National Gallery on the inside.

As I wind around and up to see where the guards are, that my French comrades mention, “… like the ones at Buckingham Palace…”,

 

I hear snippets of a tour guide’s talk about how the Parliament in Budapest is modeled after Houses of Parliament in the UK, but 2 meters were added to the design, so it would be a largest in Europe.

One more building to check out, the Matthias Church. I hear another tour guide describe the building with great pride, telling how it was originally built in 1015 Romanesque style, then destroyed and rebuilt as a mosque by Mongols in mid-13th century, and finally rebuilt in late 13th century as a church. The guide emphasizes how this final renovation removed all evidence of Moorish influence,

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except for maybe the outside courtyard, looks pretty Moorish to me…

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A few other tidbits:
… great dinner at M restaurant,


… I don’t get a chance to take in the musical side of Budapest’s history,  other than a quick walk through Liszt Ferenc square after dinner,

… I discover Béla Bartók was also Hungarian. Evening in the Country is one of my favorite piano pieces.
Free Walking Tour about Budapest’s communist past is so-so, influenced a bit by the unexpected rain, but some fun trivia.

Did you know that every communist country in the postwar eastern block, was supposed to produce a product ? East Germany – Trabant car, Hungary – Icarus buses (apparently still in service in the Middle East).

I find lots of entertaining sights as I wander through the city. I enjoy the friendliness of the people and a dip into Budapest’s history and culture.

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© Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds, 2018

 

 

 

 

Art in Motion

I’ve intended to go to see the Visions Alive: Monet to Kandinsky for months now, and being solo with a somewhat rainy Saturday seemed the perfect opportunity.

Housed in a large warehouse, a 1,000 sqm space is turned into an immersive visual and musical experience, with large projection screens that cover the entire wall space.

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Entering through black curtains I am immediately engulfed in the black. As the images and sound slowly grow, I get my bearings and finally locate a stool. People are seated all around, some in chairs, others on the floor; their heads, hands, and bodies become a part of the art and the experience. There is no empty space except in the middle of the room.

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The creators use digital technologies to create a 60-minute show that loops continuously, drawing from the works of twelve masters: Monet, Degas, Gaugin, Rousseau, Toulouse-Lautrec, Klimt, Signac, Mondrian, Modigliani, Van Gogh, Renoir, Gris, Klee, Munch, Kandinsky and Malevich. The art is brought to life through deconstructing, reconstructing and superimposing images. The soundtrack is a wide array of well-known classical music (the credits are listed on their website) and other evocative pieces.

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In contrast to many art events these days, there are few cameras or phone screens visible. I am careful to turn off my flash, hence the very dark images, and manage to catch a few shots and glimpses of the movement and passion all around.

I especially love the music set to Modigliani’s work, and I’m captivated by the twinkling dancers superimposed over Degas’ dancers set to Chopin’s Valse Op 64. No 2. Waltz in C sharp minor #7. Quotes from the artists are also displayed. Claude Monet’s quote, “I tried to do the impossible, to paint the light itself,” captures the spirit of this production.

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The exhibition’s creators are Artplay Media, an international team who specializes in creating multimedia exhibitions. Their skills include art, sound production, design, technology and marketing. Clearly they have done their homework and create a very engaging hour-long experience.

I am enchanted for the first hour.  When the loop returns to the point at which I entered, I sit for a short time, but find the second viewing less compelling. But the music haunts me for the remainder of the day. Especially, Chopin’s Valse Op 64. No 2. Waltz in c sharp minor #7.

Note: The images of the dancers may appear black for a few seconds in the middle

I reflect on the impact of the music versus the images, but come to no conclusion. Most important is the feeling that travels with me as I make my way back to the train, with street art coming into view.

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© Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds, 2018