A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Monday, 5 September 2016
In roughly 1966 I became a member of London's ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art). At that time the club was situated at it's old address in Dover Street; off Piccadilly. Later in 1968 it moved to Pall Mall and became much bigger and much grander. I then allowed my membership to lapse.
The ICA was London's best venue for everything new and innovative in painting, sculpture, poetry, 'happenings', and any other wacky event you could imagine. I spent a lot of time there, and, on one occasion was allowed to exhibit in The Library.
I attended many wonderful events, and met many interesting and well known people from the art world. Dover Street was very much a club, and members intermingled around the bar (rather like the Chelsea Arts Club today). All this changed when they moved to Pall Mall, and the personal touch disappeared.
One of the most memorable events I witnessed was a 'concert' given by Frenchman Henri Chopin. Chopin was a composer of music created using his own body (growling as he pressed a mike against his throat, etc). He worked with a multi track reel to reel tape recorder, and overlaid various bodily sounds to create 'music'; which he then played back as a completed work. He was not only fun, but he created work of pure genius.
After his 'concert' we all retired to the bar, and I chatted to M Chopin for about half an hour. He was just an 'ordinary' person (if there is such a thing), who found personal expression through sound. He was one of those extraordinary people who just did something because he enjoyed it, and thought no more of it than that. He told me that he intended to move to England; I mentioned that I dreamed of moving to France.
Looking at his photo (which I found thanks to Google images) brings it all back.
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away; we also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!