While the TravelMarx were here we visited Bern (otherwise known as Berne) in hopes of going to the Paul Klee or Einstein museum. But it was Monday and all the museums were closed. Because of the stress of having to stay open on a Sunday (seriously, that's what the books say, it's the stress of working on Sunday) they get to close their museums on Monday. Has anyone told the Swiss about swing shifts? In any event, we visited the city to view the architecture, take in some shopping and try authentic Swiss German cuisine. Don't worry, this post will include plenty of Swiss art. But before we get to that here are a few shots of the Switzerland's natural panoramic art in Bern.
It looks like the city has been covered in yummy frosting.
One of the many bridges. The shutters on the house to the left are psychedelic. I've never seen them done like this. It seems so unnatural for a Swiss building.
The Alps look like they've been painted back there.
I don't know why but all this Swiss landscape panorama was making me very hungry. So at the chocolaterie (naturally that's our first stop), we asked for a recommendation for authentic Swiss German food for lunch. She sent us to a small restaurant that felt like someones Grandma's house. Their specialty was Rosti. The waitress was surprised to see us and it was here I first experienced that Swiss welcome. "What are you doing here," she asked, which is typical for a Swiss person to ask. You see she was quite surprised to see Americans in a restaurant like hers. After explaining that they were visiting and we had just moved to Vaud, and we had asked for a recommendation at the chocolate shop, she warmed up and told us all about her trips to the US. She has seen more of the US than I have and even did some adventure hiking in Alaska. Sigh. Though they can't understand living abroad and are surprised by Americans living in Switzerland, the Swiss are known to be excellently travelled people.
My dish: Rosti. Fried hashbrowns, cheese, eggs and ham. It looked delicious, but it was so heavy I could barely eat a quarter of it. Mr. Wild Dingo helped finish the plate so as not to offend the Swiss Grandma.
Mr. Wild Dingo's plate. It kind of looks like banger's and mash.
After lunch Mr. Wild Dingo had to hold me up because I felt like I swallowed a lead canon ball.
More gorgeous views. I have to admit, you don't have to go far out your door to see the art in Bern.
We visited the outdoor Christmas market and then decided to go home.
And now for the bridge to the next topic and literally located on a bridge in Bern:
On our walk back to the car I saw this sign on the bridge we were crossing and got excited. Is Mango here in Bern? Is he exhibiting art on a Monday? Could it be? Alas the sign was a mere tease as we could not find a Relentlessly Huge Exhibit.
Later in the week, the TravelMarx air travel was delayed for two extra days. Desperate to get into at least one museum while they were here, we took advantage of the delay, braved the elements of the falling snow and took a train to visit Geneva's Modern Art Museum.
The entrance of the museum is inside an enclosed patio. The shot above was taken with an orange color accent filter.
Now Mr. Wild Dingo and I are huge fans of modern art. If you remember from a few posts back, our painting on the wall is a recently purchased modern piece from a Swiss artist.
The piece is called "Remise en Question" by Anja Hansen. It's a woman contemplating or questioning her life's purpose, one door closes as another opens. I see the boxes as past and future with the woman in the middle though. That's the psychology major in me. We love this painting.
But Mr. Wild Dingo, thankfully did not come with us this day to Geneva's MOMA. You see he has no patience for art installations such as the singular pack of Smarties in a frame on a wall or the "sick" piano in a padded room with a thermometer on it, both found at the Pompidou in Paris. In fact, I think I may have seen steam come out of Mr. Wild Dingo's ears that day. Me? I say if it moves you and evokes emotion, even anger, then it's art. And if I don't get it, then I find it's best to make fun of it. Juvenile, I know. But hold on to that judgment before you see the photos.
The MOMA in Geneva was avant-gaurdedly located in an old industrial wearhouse with uneven concrete floors. And though there were two or three staff members on each floor, the curator made us stash our bags and even my purse in a locker. No bags allowed. I'm assuming they were afraid of theft, but for the life of me, I cannot imagine why. I snuck in my iPhone and took a few shots.
No, we're not in Ikea. This is an an exhibit. Mark contemplates the blank canvas pieces on the wall while the other Marc is wondering if that is a big enough box to ship all the wine and olive oil they bought in Italy. The age-old question lingers heavily in this room: But, is it art?
In another room on this floor there was a pencil hung on wall, along side a corkscrew and a hanger. Yup. It's good thing we left Mr. Wild Dingo at home.
At one point I needed to use the bathroom. And wouldn't you know it, but they even made an installation out of the bathroom.
In case you don't believe me, here is the curation plaque on the wall of the women's bathroom.
Here is the bathroom. Notice the mirrors aren't mirrors. Clever Swiss! I think I almost get it! The men's bath had fun house mirrors installed.
But then I looked up:
Quelle suprise! Ants! Don't worry, they weren't moving. They were INSTALLED! Gotta love the modern art.
Another exhibit was a big metal storage container, not unlike what was used to ship our household items to Switzerland. This one however housed a maze of doors and walls covered in graffiti. It was actually meant for viewers to add to their own graffiti.
Are you kidding me? I could write "Wild Dingo is Your Momma" and it can be considered art? Now that's what I call looking at the world with rose colored glasses.
But seriously, there were some really excellent exhibits. One with two six foot standing mirrors placed in the shape of a half box (so adjoining at one side like an L). The mirrors faded from slightly mirrored and see through on one side to full mirror on the other. So Marc and I could stand on either side of the mirror and overlap our faces to see what we'd look like as a combination. Let's just say, my face with Marc's eyebrows makes for a really ugly chick. The exhibit carried on the theme of reflection, knowledge, inference and what we know and think we know as truth in the next room. It was loaded with words, photos and a Gestault theme. The Marx blew through it, while I spent a good long time trying to understand the message. There was plenty of brain teasers and plays on words and language, which I tend to love. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the exhibit because the Marx are hording them all in their own camera. How rude.
Still, I think I could do much better art than some of the exhibits. For example, here is my piece inspired by Kilroy:
I call this "TravelMarx wuz Here"
Or how about this shot of a beautiful building in Geneva:
First taken with a night-setting flash.
Then taken with a bronze color accent.
Still, there's no better art than furry art.
Formosan Sous Le Soleil.
Le Hooskie Naturelles
Formose En Poudre
Le Craquelin et le Criminel Sous un Arbre Kaki
Yes it's my lame attempt at copying the TravelMarx view of a Kaki tree in Morges from a previous post. But mine is better. Because it has dogs.
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"Your project is guaranteed to meet superior Siberian standards or I will fatally masticate it. You have my "woo" on that!"
"I keep your project safe from crows, coyotes, and flies. I prefer to be paid in salmon treats and tennis balls."
"I manage the treat jar & the staff's daily payroll of cookies and bones. The staff is excellent at math and let me know when I come up short."