October 12th, 2017

Modern art gives me cold feet instead of wings

We went to the Onassis Cultural Centre and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens. This installation was in a dark room with a shallow black reflective pool of water instead of the floor in front of the screen you see in the photo.

The pool looked just as some black glossy floor in the dark.

We went into the room with a group of other people not related to us and the attendant said something loudly in Greek to everyone as we entered (we obviously could not understand what it was) and just when she finished her little speech I stepped onto the reflective part of the "floor" and found myself in the pool with both of my feet in the water up to my ankles.

This puzzled the attendant a lot because what she was saying loudly to everyone just a second before I walked into the pool was "Please do not step on the reflective part of the floor! It is water. It is just a reflective pool and part of the installation. Please keep away from the water." And the very second she finished the last sentence I walked into the water with quite a bit of a splash. She ran to me and became quite animated talking to me loudly but it was all Greek to me of course. Everyone had a good laugh (at my expense) when it became clear that we were foreigners and could not understand any Greek.

I wanted to buy a pair of dry shoes in the shops nearby after we got out of the museum but they did not have my size, I am too tall and my feet are too big for most Greek shops (and most shops everywhere else too).

New school

Hurrah, we will be building a new school in the village next year. It will be designed by my friend, a well known Danish architect and will be an ultra modern and eco friendly building perfectly blended into the natural surroundings here. Once finished, it will become the main school for the kids from our cluster of villages. The current school is an old, big, half-empty and rather grim Soviet-style building.

One of our former volunteers, a well known local artist who has now moved to the village (including her studio) and is our neighbour, will be running an art school and camp in our school during the summer holidays.

One of the international companies operating here will finance all of IT, including all the hardware the school needs and a large local construction company will donate an indoor pool to the school (by building it for free).

A lot of work needs to be done before spring arrives but it will only start when our busy planting season, which is upon us is over.