The Estonian National Opera greets people in a very unusual manner, at least those who have decided to drive to their chosen event. The parking lot barriers have been converted to resemble a conductor’s hand complete with a baton.
As modernistic and abstract severity becomes older and older hat, there’ll be much more of this joking around sort of sculpture.
There must be a million statues with masks on them these days, given what these days are still like, but here’s the first one I have actually encountered on my recent photo-travels:
Yet another photo-souvenir of the times we have all lived through (apart from those of us who didn’t).
That particular beast (what exact sort of beast it is I can only guess – Dragon? Bear?) is the one holding a sign, saying nothing at all, outside St Ermin’s Hotel, which is near to St James’s Park tube, which is one of my local tube stations.
One of the arguments I am looking forward to learning more about, as time goes by and as the Covid books start appearing, concerns just how little good and how much harm these muzzles have done, and, crucially, how soon they knew, or should have known, such stuff.
I could go all ironic and have a big old sneer at these little trinkets, but the truth is I entirely get it. Cute animals are … cute. I don’t buy things like this, if only because I have nowhere I could put them, and because I hate dusting. But I love to photo such things.
I am also fond of saying, on account of it being true, that we hate architectural styles that we feel threatened by, but later often fall in love with those same styles once they are in retreat.
Something very similar applies to animals. For most of human history, animals have been threats as well as sources of food, if only because they demanded scarce time and effort to be caught or killed, and scarce resources for them to be looked after. You no more loved most animals than you loved mountains (mountains being a similar story). But now? Well, put it this way. At present animals are still hunted a bit, and still imprisoned and then eaten a lot, but it won’t be that long before a majority of the animals on earth are our pets.
I am awaiting warmer weather, in the hope that I will then feel up to taking a photo-walkabout, somewhere in London town.
Meanwhile here are some photos from a walkabout I did, walking (about) from the Angel Tube to the Barbican, as late sunshine was replaced by early moonshine, back in April of 2016:
The final photo there is of how a stretch of Oxford Circus Tube was looking on that day.
The lady seen smiling through a window of reflections (photo 10) is the then only very recently (March 31st 2016) deceased Zaha Hadid (as you can maybe guess from photo 11). This was the lady whose buildings only had straight lines in them at all because people will insist that the floors they walk about on and work on are mostly flat rather than curving up and down. Clients eh? Philistines the lot of them. ZHA has (or had in 2016) a building in Goswell Road, and I walked right past it that day, and also had a nose around in it. I remember being surprised, because I had no idea this place even existed.
See also the photo of another portrait picture, this time of actor Charles Dance, which I photoed on this very same walkabout.
My journeys to the Marsden are now regularly taking me to South Kensington tube, where this elegant gentleman is to be seen, looking particularly fine during a sunny spell, of which there have recently been many:
But who is he?
This is who:
Yes, it’s Bela Bartok, with that sign looking very good in the sunshine, I think. This statue is, up there with the young Mozart statue which is a walk away in Belgravia, my other favourite London composer statue that I have so far learned of.
I googled for “london composer statues” and discovered this 3D version of Chopin, which looks horrible in that photo. I walk past the Purcell statue in Victoria Street every time I walk to St James’s Park tube, which I think is even worse. Both these statues strike me as the “artist” putting himself in between us and the subjects, and saying look at me, when I want to be looking at Chopin, and at Purcell.
But that’s just me, and in any case, this is London. You don’t expect everything in London to look good. London wouldn’t be London if it contained no aesthetic atrocities. Besides which, maybe you like these Chopin and Purcell statues as much as I now dislike them.
But back to those otters. As Singaporeans become more affluent and more inclined to welcome the otters into their midst, and less inclined to do things like kill them and eat them, instead treating them as sort of mobile urban sculptures, …:
In 2016, an otter family suddenly ran across the Singapore Marathon route, and Otter Working Group volunteers rushed to warn the runners of the otters’ presence, as well as also position themselves along the route to prevent the animals and runners from colliding.
… the otters themselves are, understandably, becoming less frightened of humans than they used to be. Evolution in action. The adventurous otter families, willing to explore human cities in search of new ecological niches, get selected for, and the more timid ones have a harder time of it.