Trains Pt. 1

I've spent the past few weeks on trains.

Things I narrowly avoided:
- Losing my passport (thank you Koln trains). I should really avoid carrying 3 bags (not including luggage) on my person. Even if one of them is promoting "Euroanaesthesia" (which isn't a joke, but a Madrid conference in June 2006).
- A rock, thrown through the sleeper train window. It left a neat hole and the entire pane shattered. I've been waiting for this moment since I got glasses (family friend gore story), and feel lucky I don't have a glass eye.
- A fire on the Paris metro.
- Spending the night with an old Greek EU-specialising journalist who comes from a nearby village to mine by the sea, and says "crac crac" when referring to Brussels.
- Interaction with Calais locals. Calais is a terrifying place. Especially when they have brocantes on Sunday, in the rain and there are no ATMs anywhere, and some sub-sub-Beyonce is blaring from a dodgems track and blood is emitting forth from toes (mine).
- Making "click click" noises every time I wanted to take a photo, but couldn't. My eyes are sore.

Everything else transport-related was whole-heartedly enjoyed and embraced (double decker trains = ace). But for now I am eschewing most forms of movement.

After my easy, sunny slide into relative isolation, (the mountains in Montguers have lavender fields instead of mobile phone networks) the Yvon Lambert Collection in Avignon was kind of a shock. Step into this beautiful converted hotel from the 17th century and Bam Bam Bam. It's really hot, my mother's confused, and my chest hurts a little from the shift in pace: Bruce Nauman, Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer, all before one enters the actual gallery itself. Works better than pearls.

Another surprise was hearing Cat Power whilst admiring a large format photo of a foot in a morgue. (This person had died from rat poison, the open wound was very red). Anyway, Olivier Pietsch has made a montage of film sequences, lots of people falling from the sky, to the strains of "Maybe Not". It's really nice. But I'd had montage-overload by this point. Marclay's phones, Goldin's life and some young girls with a mechanical piano playing on the side, to be precise. It was all a little too much after a week spent walking in dried up rivers, skimming my uncle's library and eating fruit.

Lambert also likes photographs of film stills. Gordon Matta-Clark used to cut holes in buildings. Here are some 45 degree angle cones from Paris c1975. Some irritating people have written irritating essays about how he's an 'anarchitect.' They are beautiful, that's all.

There's a podcast about groupies on Resonance. It's good to be home. Groupies are crap, but great to listen to (I meant overhear. Don't look in their eyes. Spend ages washing your hands. Etc.) I think I avoided talking to most of my Dischord-affiliated teen idols mainly because I didn't want to get confused with these freebie lovin' notchers. I guess that's a shame, but I'm sure my male friends didn't manage to utter anything overly eloquent anyway, communications probably summised in what I always wanted to tell Jason Farrell in my formative years (but never admitted); "Marry me. (Just for the Join Us inlay)"


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