Non Violence – Pic du Jour

Non Violence (1997) by Carl Fredrik Reutersward, Lausanne

This is Non Violence (1997) by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd at the Olympic Park in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s the first sculpture that popped into mind for monument, the theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge.

This one was taken during a visit to Lausanne in July 2010; I also have a color version from a 2008 trip and a shot of another cast of the same sculpture in Gothenburg, Sweden taken in 2006. Those are two of several casts; one is in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.


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Non Violence, 1997, by Carl Fredrik Reutersward, Olympic Museum Park, Lausanne, 31-Aug-2008


Non Violence, 1997, by Carl Fredrik Reutersward, Olympic Museum Park, Lausanne, 31-Aug-2008

Non Violence, 1997, by Carl Fredrik Reutersward, Olympic Museum Park, Lausanne, 31-Aug-2008

More sad but tragically uncommon news from the U.S. yesterday; this time 20 elementary school children were among the murdered. Most stunning to me is that I’m not more stunned.

This is Non Violence, a 1997 sculpture by Carl Fredrik Reutersward at the Olympic Museum Park in Lausanne. I first saw this in August 2008, about two years after seeing another version (below) near The Göteborg Museum of Art. This morning it was the only image that fits Delicate, this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme. Delicate to describe the ‘debate’ about the ease of accessibility to guns in the U.S. And delicate to describe the bruised egos of politicians who continue to cower to the increasingly mad demands of the NRA and other guns rights advocates.

There’s nothing left to be said about a debate that’s long overdue.

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Zurich 050

A Thousand Fires in Your Belly

When you come right down to it, all you have is yourself. Yourself is a sun with a thousand fires in your belly. The rest is nothing.

I first came across that Picasso quote last August in a relatively quiet bridge underpass in Zurich. It was late morning but there wasn’t any sun; a slight drizzle resumed its previous incarnation as a downpour forcing me to run for cover. I wound up next to these words attributed to Picasso and a Pussy Riotesque print with a halo hovering over a ski mask-covered face. Those 15 minutes at this ad hoc gallery, apparently a favorite haunt for creative pamphleteers, would be the most illuminating I’d spent in the rain in a very long time. And not a single ray of sunshine.

A few more snaps, all shot with a GoPro, are below. Another dozen shots (along with a brief lessons in the origins of Dada), taken earlier during the same rainy morning stroll, are here.

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Gates of Hell, Zurich

Quickie at The Gates of Hell

When a google doodle reminded me this morning that Rodin would have been 172 today, I finally found a use for this rainy day snippet of a bronze of The Gates of Hell that rests in front of the Kunsthaus Zurich. Aren’t you glad? I am – another 30 MB put to good use and now banished from my hard drive.

To celebrate further, below are a few more shots of Rodin’s works taken either at the Rodin Garden and Museum in Paris or at the Kunsthaus Zurich. Unfortunately I don’t have a scan handy of my first Rodin, his Thinker that sits in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art, which has always been among my favorite spots in my old northeast Ohio stomping grounds.

Jardin Rodin

Rodin's Gates of Hell, Zurich

There’s a Rodin baker’s dozen on my Flickr stream here.

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Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, 31-Aug-2012

Shooting in the rain – A Zurich Dandy Dozen and a bit of Dada

Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, 31-Aug-2012

The dandiest of the several dozen that I shot on a rainy day in August anyway.

Above and again below is the Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich’s landmark turn-of-the-last century art house where Dadaism was born during the waning days of World War I. The door was propped open and I walked in, eager to check out and shoot some of the spaces inside, but was quickly sent back out into the rain by a man assembling a scaffold in what looked like a small theatre area. “We’re closed,” he said. His tone reminded me of myself when I used to suffer nicotine withdrawal. “Don’t forget your umbrella.”

So ended my brief tour into the womb of Dada.

According to painter Marcel Janco, a co-founder of the anti-art movement:

We had lost confidence in our culture. Everything had to be demolished. We would begin again after the tabula rasa. At the Cabaret Voltaire we began by shocking common sense, public opinion, education, institutions, museums, good taste, in short, the whole prevailing order.

In spirit not unlike punk rockers in the late 1970s.

After the war ended, Dada left the Cabaret Voltaire and spread to other parts of Europe; I just went back out into the rain. The occasional downpours were a good excuse to not to dig out my DSLR and continue on my quest to one day take decent street shots with a GoPro. A dozen of my favorites from that soggy day are below.

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Pussy Riot Calypso

Zurich, 31-Aug-2012

Was very nice to see this simple act of Pussy Riot solidarity in a window display in a Zurich shop.

In case you missed it, Spiegel had a good interview with jailed Pussy Riot leader Nadezhda Tolokonnikova about a week ago.

SPIEGEL: You have a four-year-old daughter, and you must have known going into your performance in the church that arrest was a real possibility. Wasn’t that irresponsible toward your child?

Tolokonnikova: If you’re afraid of wolves, you shouldn’t go into the forest. I’m not afraid of wolves. I’m fighting for my daughter to be able to grow up in a free country. Legally, the court should have been able to convict us of no more than a misdemeanor. The criminal trial is Putin’s personal revenge, and no one can predict how and when an authoritarian system will exact revenge.

On her reading list behind bars? Among others Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek.

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Summer: Festivals and Tomatoes

Ailsa of Where’s my Backpack invited me to join a photo challenge on the theme of Summer, as in, What Does Summer Mean to You. Thanks so much for the invite – happy to oblige. :)

Since moving to Europe eight years ago, and for a couple more before that, summer has meant a whirlwind of business travel, ranging from 3-4 days to upwards of two weeks. Time is always a precious commodity but I do try to make time for two things even if it’s just an hour: visits to art museums and checking out local festivals.

Like Lausanne’s Festival de la Cité where I spotted this women the summer before last illustrating that tomato spitting and catching is apparently all the rage among young couples. I hope it’s caught on elsewhere. Especially in late summer, the best time to truly enjoy tomatoes. :)

August pic(k)s

You may have grown tired of seeing this last month, but I never tired of going there every day for two weeks. This is the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, one of my personal faves shot in August 08.

A busy month; besides Beijing, August included annual stops to Lausanne and Zurich, and a brief visit to Radovljica, Slovenia.

Previous pics of the month: [July 08] [June 08] [May 08] [March 08] [February 08] [January 08]

Beijing 008, originally uploaded by pirano.