Friday, June 09, 2006

Better Than Chocolate Monkeys

The nativity facade at Sagrada Familia. Queued for aaaages to climb for aaaages up the second tower from the right, looking at the shot. This was just one of the many days I wandered around shaking my head at the amazingness of stuff. You visit places like this and they blow you away. You spend the best part of a whole day there. You devour every bit of information there is. You read its rich history and look at faded photos of when it was first being built in the middle of a field and marvel that any human mind had such a vision. You touch the walls and you check the thing from every angle and think it's funny how you've seen pictures and known about it vaguely, but you never really thought you'd be standing inside the thing. And then you linger and loiter and finally it's time to go, and you realise that you don't want to leave. You don't want to stop looking at this totally amazing construction that refused to be destroyed and which is slowly being rebuilt because you know that when you turn and walk away from it, it could quite easily be the last time you will ever see it. I want to go back when they have finished construction and I want to see it lit up at night and I want to climb that tower again. Maybe I will. Maybe I'll see it through an old man's eyes. But then maybe that day was the first and last time.

Gaudi was a genius. I couldn't get my head around this hanging model he made, all strings and weights, the weights pulling down in the centre of suspended strings to form the perfect arch when visually inverted and a model based on it. I mean, what kind of mind thinks of things like that? It's real outside the sqaure stuff. Does anyone really think like that anymore?

Gaudi was a genius who got hit by a bus or a tram. He was probably a million miles away, busy thinking outside the square when he really should have looked up. I wonder what he was thinking. I wonder how the tram driver felt when he found out that he'd snuffed out such a great and celebrated mind.

Still, luckily for us Gaudi got whacked late in his life. Imagine if he'd been killed as a little boy. We wouldn't even know what we'd missed out on.

I was such a Gaudi fan by the end of that week in Barcelona. At park Guelle I found a mug in the souvenir shop that had an image of a mosaic that was somewhere in the park. The mosaic is of two blue fish. I bought the mug and went back to search for the real mosaic but it could have been anywhere. Couldn't find it. Another reason to try to make it back. It's like a treasure hunt, trying to find those two blue fish.

As you can see, Gaudi's church and park and so much of his art and design had a slightly more profound effect on me than the chocolate monkey on a doily.


Guyana-Gyal said...

Now everyone has me interested in Gaudi!

Quick said...

Gaudi is The Man.