Friday, January 19, 2007

Today was a real slog

Today was a real slog to get to Paddington. The tube is a nightmare, I usually cycle everywhere. That train residency is rather a blessing as I can find time to do some work on the trains. I have to confess that I avoid the rush hour completely otherwise my experience of travelling might not be quite so pleasant.
I grew up commuting between Paris and its suburb and it feels very familiar to be on the train day dreaming, looking at the scenery and being in that strange meditative state train travelling puts you in.
What does an artist do on a train? Well the same thing as other people I guess. The question of whether art is a socially engaged practice is a bit like wondering what a fish does in water. Well they move around don t they?
I got some pretty criptic text today:
"Read at loud?what? 'ten 30'is a beautiful hour.i shouldchange my rythm so that i don't sleep t that time. ill be on the wind at 3pm, possibly maybe. f." Would someone care to translate that one for me. Thanks


At 23-Jan-2007 00:13:00 , f. said...

Well it wasn't that complicated.(boys boys boys...). First, je viens de comprendre que "Reading" est une station, ça aide pour comprendre la première réponse. Then, I just said that 10h30 est une belle heure, et que si je changeais mon rythme de ces dernieres semaines, je devrais pouvoir la vivre au lieu de dormir.
Les trains de Paris sont encore différents.Vraiment, rien ne s'approche de près ou de loin de l'odeur dans laquelle baignent les TER du Nord...Les RER peuvent parfois en reflechir une pâle copie.But again, fortunately, strangers are everywhere. Désolée du malentendu. En même temps, on s'ennuirait vite, sans malentendu. Non ?F.


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Arnaud Desjardin

For his project Stranger on the Train Arnaud Desjardin has taken up a transitory residency on the trains offering his services to the public as an 'artist for engagement'.

He is inviting people to book meetings with him during his journeys to discuss his practice, the practice of other artists, and most importantly the assumed and implied roles of socially engaged arts practices, where the artist is hoped to better contemporary society according to current political agendas.

Desjardin is a French artist based in London, whose practice is not easily categorised.

His work references art historical theories and practice and he is mostly interested in understandings of perception and reality. He has exhibited work at a national and international level and has worked in collaborative partnerships with other artists. One of his current interests considers the figure of the artist as a use to society.

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