Tuesday, 22 March 2011

sunday sombras - by Theo

Rosie is a fab baby to take out and about to exhibitions, provided we time it right. In the past we've had a great time with her at the Caixa Forum, where she became delightfully engrossed by the Press Photography Exhibition, a selection of contemporary Turkish paintings and the usher's mustache (to be fair it was practically a work of art in its own right). However on another occasion I found myself weaving an odd circle through Atocha train station while trying to both admire the photographs in a MSF sponsored show and keep a steady pace so that Rosie would continue sleeping in her buggy.

Sunday's timing was spot on. After Rosie's morning nap we swiftly headed out, meeting our friend Anne at the Museo de la Ciudad near Avenida de America to see a (free) exhibit of Spanish photography between 1944 and 1954, entitled Sombras (shadows). Not actually a thematic link between the photographs, but rather the title of a photography publication extant in that period.
[Rosie trying to explain the finer points of metaphor in composition while I babble on inanely about the ickle-doggy.]

Popping Rosie in the sling, we toured the exhibit, my attention somewhat distracted by my charge - especially when she persuaded me to let her crawl about the marble floor, something she did with great gusto. She did show some interest in the exhibits, particularly those of dogs and children (a recurring theme with Rosie) but I can forgive her for not being all that grabbed by them. Given that the period in question was such a politically volatile time in Spanish history - the civil war still a recent painful memory and Franco unsure whether the victorious allies of WWII would choose to liberate Spain from the fascist yoke or not - there was little reflection of that in the arrangement of the exhibit. There could easily have been. Some of the most engrossing photographs were social portraits - of monks, of fishermen, of peasant farmers, young children fetching water or dressed up for a fiesta. Very little information was offered about either the photographers or their subjects, which was a shame as it would have taken very little to have invested a bit more life in the exhibition.

After a drink on a sun-drenched terrace, we treated ourselves and Rosie to pizza, which she gobbled down with enthusiasm before - timed to perfection - she nodded off for 40 minutes as I walked back to Pueblo Nuevo in the warm March sunshine, waking up just 5 minutes from our door.

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