It's been a Birmingham/homework weekend. I am currently taking an unneeded break.
I realized Thursday that I've seen more of London than of the town I live in, so I decided to change that… mildly. Friday morning I was whisked away by a field trip to the Jewellry Quarter for a Chem class I am not in. The museum they were going to was closed, so I ran away in search of a private art gallery called St. Peters. It was closed for refurbishment, so then again I was off. I strolled past a chapel with an odd assortment of tombstones placed on the edges of the property and newer stones dedicated to war veterans and the like. It seemed oddly out of place. After a long trek back to city centre, I followed some helpful signs to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. As a whole, it is not the greatest place, but I have been spending my past weekends at the British Art Gallery, The British National Gallery, and the Tate Modern. I went to the Tate Britain, but was unimpressed with most of what I saw. I need to go back to the National Portrait Gallery, because for the sake of commerical interest, there is a lot of photography of people like the Beatles.
I like whenever I wander across a Poussin(poussin!), because I feel a sort of connection after my Classical Themes in Art History course. There are a lot of bad paintings in this world, and even more uninteresting local museums. One thing of interest was a selection of watercolors from 1950s Birmingham, cataloguing the demolition of old buildings to make way for new roadways. I imagined scenes were similar following WWII. The best part of the Brum museum was the special exhibit “Art in the 1960s, This was Tomorrow.” Naturally, I had to pay to get in. I must say that I really do like pop art, and… I like Yoko Ono's (not to mention John's) performance art. It was a relatively small showing, but I did get to see original prints of the cover art for Hard Day's Night. The whole art deconstruction symposium thingy that Yoko was involved in looked neat too. Fluxus! Happenings! Cut! There were some cute newspaper articles about John declaring his love for Yoko in art exhibit, despite both of them being married… There was this sculpture with a glass head filled with ripped up pornography and it had six plastic gloves that inflated and three clear glass bosoms. It reminded me of Alex. I wish I could remember artist or piece names. I also some paintings that I really liked, but I don't remember them now. Grr.
Across the street from there was a modern art gallery in the water hall. It was all student GCSE (kind of like high school graduation project work) stuff, and mostly garish and scary. Students picked an artist, studed techniques, and did their own stuff from it. I liked one girl who chose Arnulf Rainer. Some boy did nice paintings as well. blaaa.
Then I walked a long ways to the Ikon Gallery. It was naturally closed while they installed a new exhibition, so I bought post cards. Afterwards I wandered around the markets and was scared, so I bought gloves and a glue stick. I want to buy a new hat, but cannot justify spending $30-$50 on it. I then sat at a starbucks (with a view of another starbucks… seriously) reading a book on writing a screenplay. I felt like the world's biggest yuppie, sipping my frappacino. I eventually found my way back to Manor House. Spent time with Tom, got scared sorta, left and did some homework before falling asleep.
This morning I was awoken at 8:30 by Bethany. Her, Mike, and I went for a bit of breakfast grub at the Sausage and then afterwards I bailed to do some research at the main library, which I used to think was the world's most uninviting library. Now that I understand the “zones,” it is a bit nicer. I was there forever reading about homoeroticism in early modern england, falling asleep. After being there for a few hours (ew.. actual research kinda) I checked out my own books (technology!@!! courtesy 3M). I wandered from there to the Barber Insitute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham's art gallery. It is like UMD's Tweed, but bigger and fancier. It had a Poussin! I also wandered into an “Art Alive!” thing. Some dude in a costume was pretending to be a Dutch artist talking about his paintings. He was running back and forth between his paintings saying “walk this way” and walking funny. It was cute, and utterly random.
I find old coins to be entirely uninteresting.
On the bus ride home, I saw some human drama. Then I finished reading Measure for Measure and got a call from Tom. We chilled until I ran away to read for politics (blaaaaaaaaagh… it is interesting to hear about suffrage, WWII, and the great depression from this side of the pond) and then Tom made me (and Greg!) dinner while I read for politics and did a geology lab. Sometimes… sometimes I am distant, but at least I get things done. hah. It was a very nice bit of pasta followed by a brief, but very nice makeout session. Then he left, which was even nicer. Now I am at the end of this entry, which is nice for you and for me, because I have to use to loo.
Somethings have made me realize that the midwestern un-accent is not all that neutral, as I have always thought. We do not simply say everything phonetically. The Brits have us beat in pronouncing pasta, been, and herbs. I might start saying been 'bean' instead of 'ben', but I will never pronounce the h in 'erbs' or say 'pass-ta'. 'Van Go' is superior to 'Van Gog'. ethnocentrism, wow!