The picture at the top of the blog is one that I took from Villa Arson, an art school and gallery that is about 12 mins walk from the flat. It seems pretty under-the-radar, off the tourist track, but it’s definitely the best view of Nice you can get without an expensive villa. (It also has beautiful shady gardens, a fact I’ve parked for the near future, when Ted and I will be sweltering.)
I wandered up there a couple of weeks ago and there was an exhibition about a French “sound poet” called Bernard Heidseick. There were some very sweet students who explained what to do: basically you had to walk all around a bunch of minimalist white rooms and sit on oblongs made of grey cut foam underneath huge speakers. When you sat down, recordings of Heidseick’s sound poetry would start. One of them was of Heidseick reciting pages of definitions from Robert, which is a major French dictionary everyone here has, a sort of Websters or Collins. Another was a recording of students being attacked by police during the May 1968 demonstrations in Paris, repeated ad infinitum in shorter and shorter bits. So, you can see why Villa Arson isn’t on the main tourist trail…
Only two others are familiar with the whole thing: reader number one (Joel) has lots to say about it, but reader number two is my biggest fan. Actually he’s listener number two, but let’s not quibble. I like to read what I’ve written out loud, ever since I interviewed Gervais Phinn, who said he reads everything out loud before he presses Save. I don’t even like Gervais Phinn and his sentimental blather about a rural school teacher in Yorkshire, but there was still something very enthusing about his good humour. And he’s got me stuck with reading to Ted.Here’s a pic of Ted listening to me. He’s sitting on the chair Joel and I found for him on the street the other day.
Here’s another pic of Reader Number One racing off on a VeloBleu to pick up his keys, which he forgot at the restaurant. I like the French-Film-Out-Of-Focus quality, but maybe I’m just a crap photographer and he was in a hurry.