I'm sitting in the cafe of the Camden Arts Centre having just partaken of a chocolate cake and a cappuccino. It's nice in here, a refuge from the windy weather outside. Robin is out the back having a smoke as he is still a snout-cast whilst I'm sitting here, in the warm, reminiscing. Whenever I come here I'm always reminded of the fact that I use to model here a long time ago, before the building was modernised. Nothing glamorous about the modelling though; I was an artists' model. It's not easy job, even though you're not really doing anything. You have to be working with an understanding teacher; one who is not going to make you hold a difficult pose for too long, if that's what happens it can be really torturous. That's what finally made me decide to stop doing it. Still, another life another place!
So, the reason why I'm here today is because we came to see the last day of an exhibition curated by Ben Rivers. He had four of his own films showing but it was the work he had chosen, work that resonated with him, that we enjoyed the most. This curated collection, Edgelands, included two pieces that stood out for us; one being La ville pétrifiée, an exquisite painting by Max Ernst, which was difficult to photograph. I got the image below off the internet. It's not bad, but like our photograph is does not pick up the nuanced colour and texture of the moon or the richness of the pinky reds in the frottage section. I have never seen this painting 'in the flesh' and for me it was totally captivating. So unique, so mysterious and other-worldly. The moon, unusually placed dead-centre, totally dominates and is like an eye looking back at you. It was worth coming here just to see this painting alone.
La ville pétrifiée
Sections of Undiscovered Country 2015