Monday, March 14, 2022


Paris is a city of clichés. We have seen it all, revisited the sites and returned home with some form of hangover. The French spirit does not have the witty, perverse undercurrent of Anglo-Saxon humor. It is self-conscious and at times heavy.

For the visitor who has seen it all, there is now the restored Bourse de Commerce which houses the Pinault Collection. The Japanese architect Tadao Ando filled the existing round space with a concrete cylinder which imposes upon the visitor a kind of eerie feeling which can be found in a number of protestant churches, devoid of any ornament.

The setting is spectacular,  but user unfriendly. It is a French given that unlike the grandeur found elsewhere, there is a seriousness which overrules any attempt for some form of levity. People walk in this bunker-like atmosphere where, unlike in the Guggenheim in New York, every ray of "entertainment" is dead upon arrival. At the end of the day the experience feels more like a walk in some vanity project, yet another narcisstic journey with no soul. The myth of Narcissus is no laughing matter either.

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