Sunday, September 23, 2018

September 23, 2018 / Tosh's Diary (Paris/Los Angeles)

September 23, 2018

The flight was somewhere between 10 and 11 hours long, and it was boring as hell. The service on the airline Air France was outstanding.  But there were delays at the airport, and the plane took off about an hour late. The Charles DeGaulle airport is enormous of course, but one of the interesting aspects of its architecture is the wooden ceilings.  At LAX Bradley terminal I feel we are in a series of confined spaces, but the vastness of the boarding gate in Paris is immense, and it actually becomes a vanishing point when you look in the front of you.   

As one gets to their seat, you are confronted by a lack of space, but I’m mentally prepared for that. I brought two books with me for the reading.  The main book is Alexander Trocchi’s “Cain’s Book” which I purchased in a bookstore in Paris called the Red Wheelbarrow.   Across from the Lexingburg Gardens.  As far as I know, or at least on this trip, I came upon four English language bookstores. All were good.  Any John Calder publication is a good book.  It’s the British version of Grove Press or the sister or brother of that excellent publishing house.  Calder had an extraordinary vision as a publisher.  I still haven’t finished the book, and every time I feel sleepy, I try to close my eyes to drift off to sleep.

Nevertheless, sleep is impossible for me on a plane.  My sense of travel is being at a location. I don’t actually like the physical aspect of traveling.  I hate luggage.  I really don’t like airports. I loathe going through security.  And I generally don’t enjoy the ride to or from the airport.  I love being at my destination.  But the compromise to get to that direction of the destination is a horror show for me.  I envy fictional characters like James Bond, or Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible,” where there is a subtitle that says “Berlin,” and therefore you know the main character is there in that city.  I too want to travel in such a manner where a subtitle shows up under my body, and I’m immediately at that location.  You never see Bond buying a plane ticket or waiting at the airport. Nor is he busy making sure he has a European wall plug for his laptop computer.  The one groovy thing I do have is that I rent a portable wi-fi set.  I discovered this when I went to Japan, and in that country, there is not that many ‘hot spots’ for internet use.   Carrying this small pocket-sized wi-fi is a dream.  The battery lasts for six hours, so one should turn it off when not in use. Other then that, it’s perfect. 

We got back home around 10 PM, and I drank a few glasses of wine, checked my e-mail, and tried to feel like I was back home in Los Angeles.  My brain was here, but my body thought it was still walking on Germain-des-Prés. I have a hard time with jet-lag.  Forcing the body and mind to be in one place is a problem for me.  I heard one should just drink water on the jet, but of course, I drank wine.  It’s free on international flights!  Still, I don’t think I can ever beat this feeling of being displaced in time and space.  I got up early and went to work at ARTBOOK (917 E 3RD Street, Los Angeles 90013) to take images for me to write about - and then I walked around Downtown Los Angeles.  It still feels like I was in Paris.  Even though I was walking down Spring Street, I felt the next corner will be rue Oberkampf in the 11th arrondissement.  Which by the way is named after Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf, an 18th-century German-born French industrialist. He invented the first machine for printing wallpaper.  

Lun*na and I went to the Tony Berlant opening at the Kohn Gallery (North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles 90038) and the dinner afterward at Michael and Caroline’s home for the artist.  The show is pretty great.  Tony’s work is basically collaged with images printed on metal, or tin, and put together by steel brads, which gives the art a multi-textural feel.  Some are flat pieces while others are sculptures.  Also, I really like the works that are horizontal when placed on the wall.   They stick out so one can see both sides of the artwork.  So, in a sense, they are sculptural, but flat as well.  Interesting combination. I made a note to myself to come back to the exhibition to spend more time with the art. 
 Tosh Berman

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