Day 55, Radom, March 4th 2012Posted: March 6, 2012
Tea 55, Green tea, mystery mix, Radom.
Today was Marta’s Mum’s birthday, when we woke up she had already made another spectacular breakfast spread with all things you could think of, cheese, bread, tomato, cucumber, salad. Loads and loads of stuff, and I was still pretty full from the indulgences on the previous day. We sat and ate and chatted and watched the TV, which was dominated by the tragic and awful news of the train crash that has happened on the line between Warsaw and Krakow.
After a while of this we decided to head out, Marta, her mum and I, to this park area which is also home to a few galleries and loads of sculptures. It is around 10km from Radom, and in which direction I am not too sure. We also took the dog with us, fully intending to take her for a walk around the park too. We arrived at this little place, which is dotted with buildings, looking a bit like a farm in lots of ways. Everyone out of the car, including the dog and Marta and I went into the first building, a modern built gallery, to buy some tickets. Luckily our tickets gave us access to more than one building because this first show was a bit of a disappointment. The space is pretty interesting but it had been totally rammed with sculptural works by this one guy, which were, basically, terrible. They looked like they were built in the 60’s, and this wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if they had been. But they were all pretty much brand new, gaudy, Francis Bacon-esque structures of painted driftwood and plaster. It was a shame, and if there had of been even a TINY bit of critical choice in what was presented it would have been a hundred times better. But it was just like the guy wanted to show and tell EVERYTHING! And I know I myself am a minimalist, so usually something is always too much that nothing, but this was just stupid!
Ehem, so… moving on… We went back out into the park, Marta’s Mum had joined us half way through our tour around this first space and then we all walked to the next space, on a little tour with a lady in a brown hat who seemed pretty passionate about lots of the elements. She explained a few of the things we could see as we walked along, and then we arrived at an old chapel, the all seeing eye staring down at us from on high. We went inside and found an installation created by a guy and called (in Polish) Harvest. This was a collection of ceramic figurines, made by the artist, who were, basically, Chavs / Neds / Delinquents whichever phrase you choose. Then Marta explained to me that in Polish the word for harvest is very similar to that for something like a self destructive society. The piece was a play on words. This work had a lot of humour and enjoyment in it’s rather bleak subject matter, on figurine is peeing in a corner under the old alter, one is texting on a mobiule phone, others drinking in little huts and some fighting.
A little while spent in this space we left again, the lady in the hat locking the door with a huge key, had to be almost a foot long, and we continued onto another space. This one used to be an greenhouse and so is open and full of light. The work presented here was more interesting modern sculpture, of simply a toilet and a cement mixer. They had, however, been covered in little squares of mirror, like on a disco-ball. The toilet span around on its low plinth and the cement mixer was fully working, though only for a short period of time when the lady in the hat switched it on and then off again, suggesting that it may not be the most secure of creations. There were also some photos of the artist’s other creations, including a drain cover, a wheelie bin, and an original Volkwagen Beetle! The photos were documents of when the artist puts them into real life situations and illuminates them, generally at night.
That space over we went back out into the park and headed for the main house. This has been kept in its original condition, with its classical furniture, paintings and it’s egg cooker… so is more of a historical document than gallery space. But it is an interesting little place with some very nice artworks and some intriguing gadgets!
Back in the car, we let the dog out for another, brief walk (she looked a little perplexed to being told to get back in the car after such a brief exit). We then headed back towards town, Marta’s Mum dropped us off in town and we had a short walk in the sun and then went into a café/restaurant that used to be Marta’s favourite when she was younger. We ordered a couple of juices (I decided I needed the vitamin C, I think I am getting a cold!), and a pizza to share. It was a very good one with olives and capers and anchovies. However it turned out to be a bit of a mistake, because on our return home it turned out Marta’s Mum had been busy in the kitchen yet again and there was another HUGE spread on the table. Soup, potatoes, chicken, leftover goulash, more salad, and then when that had been gone over by us all there were cakes brought out! This weekend I have been well and truly stuffed and feel like I won’t eat for a week!
After another few hours spent eating (again), it was time to head back to Warsaw with Marta’s brother. The Clio’s heating system had been fixed so we didn’t have to drive with condensation all over the windows, but the seatbelts were still useless. We made it back to Warsaw safely though. Tomorrow (today) I leave for Krakow, I’m excited to be travelling again, but sad to leave Warsaw as I still think there is so much I haven’t seen!