Sunday, February 11, 2007


We returned yesterday to Anselm Kiefer's transformative and uplifting Aperiatur Terra at the White Cube gallery in Mason's Yard. We also visited the Photographers' Gallery in Covent Garden to view this year's Deutsche Börse Photography Prize exhibition featuring Philippe Chancel's crisp and dispassionate photographs from inside North Korea, Anders Petersen's photographic essay from the margins of Hamburg society a la Christer Stromholm, Walid Raad's photos of ravaged Beirut, and Fiona Tan's individual and family portraiture. Perhaps it was because I was still feeling tired from a busy work week, but none of the prize entries moved me. I liked Chancel's work, but I felt I had seen work like Petersen's and Tan's many times before.

We ate delicious assorted dim sum at Laureate on Shaftesbury Avenue and then walked up to Oxford Street where at Office I found pretty silver shoes to wear with my wedding sari and at Accessorise I found a cute silver and sequin clutch bag to carry on the day too. Then we watched Nuri Bilge Ceylan's latest movie Climates at the Renoir about the breakdown of the relationship between a bored and jaded middle-aged university lecturer and his younger, fiestier TV art director wife - both main characters played by the director and his real-life wife Ebru Ceylan. A pensive, subtle meditation on middle class relationships in decline with wonderful shots of the Turkish landscape.

Though I'm not a fan of the fusty, middle-aged atmosphere of the Renoir, it struck me as comical that a largely English audience waiting to view a modern Turkish movie were forced first to sit through a short art movie ranting on in very simplistic terms about how globalisation leads to cultural homogenisation. Cultural homogenisation was also not to be seen at dinner back on Green Lanes at the restaurant Mesopotamia where the owners were Turkish, the waitresses were Eastern European and the clientele were English, French and Bangladeshi.

At the restaurant, M (English-Polish-Jewish) ate a meaty, succulent grilled sea bream with salad and I (English-Indian-Catholic-Hindu-Brahmo) had a rather oily diced lamb dish with yoghurt, garlic and aubergines. I think I will stick to the much better Anteplilier and only return here for the undoubtedly delicious fish dishes. I can't, however, fault Mesopotamia for its warm and attentive service though.

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