The Centre Pompidou was amazing! I really enjoyed it. Aside from the horrific ascent to the top – the only ways up are a glass elevator (not going to happen) or an escalator enclosed in a glass tube on the outside of the building. – it was great! I made it up to the top, with my eyes firmly glued to my feet, my hands desperately grasping the railings and as far away from the edge as possible. I’m sure people hardly noticed the panicky look to my face. The breathing, they may have noticed, however.
Before I had to brave the escalators (mock if you must, I know it’s ridiculous!), I saw the children’s centre. They have a huge space and provide loads of cardboard for the children to create. There are no instructions, no rules and no adult expectations, just freedom to create! (The Reggio educator in me was jumping for glee!) There are tools and materials so that can put things together. My favourite was a tower which many children were adding to, growing to mammoth proportions.
The exhibition (pas des photos, bien sur) was about how ‘fake’ cities and miniature cities help us shape our real world. It was really good. There was one installation of refrigerators, covered in small rectangles of mirror, arranged in a black space to look like a city at night. There was an interesting on of buildings in New York, about six-seven feet tall each, with mechanical arms, set in a sea of trash. There was music and the arms were all choreographed to move to it. The music was interspersed with news clips of how relating to dealing with the aftermath of 9/11. I also loved a tiny fabric city growing out of a suitcase. I know, no pictures but no worries…I bought the book!
The permament exhibition was very good too. There are pieces by Picasso, Dada, Rothko, Matisse and Pollock, just to name a few. There were also several exhibits of Eames pieces. I love, love, love mid-century furniture! It was really a great experience to see the pieces I’ve studied in books, in person. I did want one of those mini chairs by Eames – I saw them in the shop – only 220 Euros! Yikes!
There were also pieces by lesser known artists and some installations that were esoteric for sure. A room full of mannequins watching a light show with 12 foot tall spears of baby dolls pierced onto them. One room full of boards of different heights, painted different shades of red, propped against the walls. The museum has a lot of modern sculpture too, which I really enjoyed.
Seriously, this one is a must-see in Paris!