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The restorative power of beauty and chocolate

So Friday morning saw the onset of another bout of Sciatica. Oh the Joy! by Saturday night with Eris I was having difficulty sitting down and in fact moving. This morning it’s worse and with it is a crushing loneliness, a total lack of concentration and focus, numbness in the elbows and knees, I mean what the fuck?!?!? No fair.

I’m pretty sure that the whole sorry state of affairs is down to the sudden lack of the extreme pressure I’ve been under recently (mainly self-inflicted). I just couldn’t cope with the release and having more than four hours sleep a night.

However I’d planned to round off a cracking four-day weekend with a trip to the British Library and the Royal Academy and I was damned if an overwhelming desire to stare blankly into space as the world crashed down around my ears was going to stop me.

Slept on the bus, slept on the train – couldn't face doing anything more.

But you know – bollocks to that.

Anyway…

Get to the British Library to see Breaking the Rules: The Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900 - 1937 which is a wealth of books and manifestos and films from the early modern period of western art and something I wanted to research for video pieces and because I’m a rampant typophile. Brilliant, free and well worth the time.

Next door though is the permanent exhibition Treasures of the British Library. ‘Treasures’ would be one of those British understatements that are unfortunately so seldom necessary these days. This room is fucking spectacular!!!

Gutenberg Bible over here, Sultan Baybar’s Qu’ran over there, a few Lotus Sutras from different centuries, a Jain scroll or two, Da Vinci notebooks, Galileo’s first scientific work, Shakespeare’s first Folio, Syvia Plath early drafts… couple of other bits and bobs.

Left me singing.

Get back on the Tube to head for the Academy and it wasn't until I’d sat down that I realised that all the pain had evaporated. Totally gone. And I’m putting it down to the wonder of the books and the bar of 70% Fair Trade chocolate I’d mainlined before facing the exhibitions.

Georg Baselitz at the RA is pretty good, if a bit testosterone fuelled. Like eating four pounds of rare beef while driving a Ferrari and firing an AK-47. Apart from Orpheus which is beautiful. His later work is pretty interesting as he’s remixing earlier pieces in a by no means lazy way.

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September 2013

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