Saturday, June 8, 2013


Barcelona is a delight and a great way to enter Europe. With no more than a passport stamp and a wink, a dark eyed handsome wink, the bonds of the old colony felt loosed and I was free. We're returning; nothing seems that different except that I, for one, am more appreciative of the people, these Catalans, proud Catalans. (The subtitles at the opera, the eminently sensible personal-behind-the seat-in-front ones, are in Catalan, Spanish and English.) They're direct, but warm and welcoming. There's a sense of energy slightly pent-up, restrained by politeness. It's exciting. And transport is good, walking is easy on wide boulevards lined by its exceptional architecture, and yes, La Rambla, crazy as ever, is still there, tumbling down to the sea.

The Museums are in fine shape. A Museum card (6 museums 30 euro) is the first buy after a transport card. We comfortably managed four.

Just off La Rambla toward the University quarter, where we are staying, is the MACBA - the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. It makes the extensions to the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art look dreary, and cheap - though I shouldn't really make any comparison, inviting opinions about economy vs vision, debt crisis vs balanced books with generous but hen's teeth donors. Anyway, they (the MCA extensions) I think are dull and whatever the merits of minimalism in galleries, modern or otherwise, what can't be overlooked is the need to stimulate the senses immediately. Sydney doesn't cut it for me.

First amendment - I woke up to find I'd crossed images - the text above and photos below reference MACBA - the Barcelona Museum of Modern Art, and not the CCCB which is a next door conglomeration of buildings and extensions, and so this post has been rejigged. Sorry.

This, just to confirm, is MACBA, where "art ain't about you, it's about we."

The Neues Museum in N├╝rnberg (I know, that was last year, but I make my case) is another example:

(Internet speeds, especially upload speed, is pretty variable to poor so far, so these posts will be behind real time but written in the present and generally short but hopefully getting more often - bear with me. More coming to a screen new you .... )

1 comment:

Susan Scheid said...

I hope I'll get to Barcelona, among the many places on my list. You give such an enticing introduction here, not least of which is this: "art ain't about you, it's about we." Food for endless thought, is that.