Van Gogh Alive (Barely) / Van Gogh Viva (Apenas)

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

WE WENT TO Málaga Friday afternoon to catch Van Gogh Alive before it left town. A traveling show in a temporary building, it was only here until Sunday before heading to Valencia.

As an art student, I studied Van Gogh. I read Van Gogh. Sometimes I wanted to BE Van Gogh with all his talent and his even greater tragedies. San Geraldo and I had seen videos and images of the brilliant, engaging exhibit from Amsterdam and Paris and didn’t want to miss it.

The traveling exposition was nothing like what we had seen online. In my opinion at least, “Van Gogh Constrained and Sedentary” would be a better name. We expected to be surrounded by and walking among giant projected imagery accompanied by powerful classical music. What we got instead were bean bag chairs and some backless benches for sitting and viewing shimmying screens (air currents made them shake and one projector was off-kilter) and constrained floor panels. We left extremely disappointed.

We took the train into Málaga’s main station (Maria Zambrano) and taxied from there. On the way home, however, there were no taxis by the lighthouse at the end of the port where the exhibit was housed. We started walking. It’s a bit of a hike from the lighthouse to the main road. No taxis. So we continued walking to the nearest train station (Centro Alameda). More than a half hour. It’s not easy to get San Geraldo to do one of these treks. It was hot and sunny. The wind was blowing and the pollen was visible and blasting our faces and eyes. I told him he didn’t need to bring a hat because we wouldn’t be outside for long. San Geraldo didn’t OPENLY complain but, I feel like I wasted a chit!

Still, if we didn’t find the exhibit itself engaging, I thought the way some of the audience, although stationary, were absorbed into the images was quite arty.

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FUIMOS A MÁLAGA el viernes para ver “Van Gogh Alive” (Van Gogh Viva) antes de que saliera de la ciudad. Un espectáculo itinerante en un edificio temporal, solo estuvo aquí hasta el domingo antes de dirigirse a Valencia.

Como estudiante de arte, estudié Van Gogh. Leí Van Gogh. A veces quise SER Van Gogh con todo su talento y sus tragedias aún mayores. San Geraldo y yo habíamos visto videos e imágenes de una brillante y atractiva exhibición de Ámsterdam y Paris, y no queríamos perdérnosla.

La exposición itinerante no se parecía en nada a lo que habíamos visto en línea. En mi opinión al menos, “Van Gogh Constreñido y Sedentario” sería un nombre mejor. Esperábamos estar rodeados y caminando entre imágenes gigantescas proyectadas acompañadas de poderosa música clásica. Lo que obtuvimos en cambio fueron las sillas puf y algunas bancas sin respaldo para sentarnos y ver pantallas temblorosas (las corrientes de aire las hicieron temblar y uno de los proyectores estaba descentrado) y paneles de piso restringidos. Nos fuimos muy decepcionados.

Tomamos el tren hasta la estación principal de Málaga (María Zambrano) y nos dirigimos desde allí. En el camino a casa, sin embargo, no había taxis en el faro al final del puerto donde se encontraba la exposición. Empezamos a caminar. Es una caminata desde el faro hasta la carretera principal. No hay taxis. Así que seguimos caminando hasta la estación de tren más cercana (Centro Alameda). Más de media hora. No es fácil lograr que San Geraldo realice una de estas caminatas. Estaba soleado y caluroso. El viento soplaba y el polen era visible y arruinaba nuestras caras y los ojos. Le dije que no necesitaba traer un sombrero porque no estaríamos afuera por mucho tiempo. San Geraldo no se quejó abiertamente pero, me siento como si hubiera desperdiciado una ficha!

Aún así, si no encontramos que la exposición en sí sea atractiva, pensé que la forma en que la audiencia, aunque estacionario, estaba absorta en las imágenes era bastante artística.

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Below is a short video of what we had expected to experience.
A continuación se muestra un breve video de lo que esperábamos experimentar.

Way Up High

I was back in Benalmádena Tuesday with Kristina to go up to the town’s highest point, Mount Calamorro. We rode the “teleférico” (funicular or sky cablecar). The trip begins at about 100 meters above sea level (328 feet) and ends at nearly 800 meters (2,625 feet). San Geraldo didn’t join us. He has a fear of heights, can be a bit claustrophobic, and experiences motion sickness. (Other than that, he really is loads of fun.)

BEGINNING THE CLIMB.



Story Time
Twenty-three years ago, we were stuck in a ski lift (chairlift) in Vermont with our friend Judy. While we waited in the air above Mount Snow, Judy and I commented on the spectacular view.

San Geraldo was not pleased. “Stop turning your heads!!! You’re shaking the chair!!!”

We were stuck for about 10 minutes — maybe less — at a height of about 30 feet.

San Geraldo says we swung wildly over a 500-foot chasm — for more than two hours.

Admittedly, there was a really big boulder below us. It would have hurt.

So, I suppose Benalmádena’s Teleférico is one thing San Geraldo will likely never experience.

HANGING OUT THE WINDOW FOR A VIEW BACK TO THE SEA.
LOOKING WEST.
FROM THE TOP: VIEW FROM ONE OF THE HIKING TRAILS.
HANGING OUT THE WINDOW AS WE HEAD BACK DOWN.
WE COULD ALWAYS JUST HIKE THAT TRAIL..
ON A CLEAR DAY, YOU CAN SEE THE NORTH COAST OF AFRICA.
LOOKING BACK AT MOUNT CALAMORRO.
GETTING THERE (IT IS HALF THE FUN).

Maybe some fairy dust would help San Geraldo. 
Then again, maybe not. He’d still be airborne.

I remember seeing this on TV for the first time in 1960 and it gave me goose bumps. It still does. (I won’t grow up, I guess.)

I’m Leaving Tomorrow

Nearly 40 years ago, I traveled with my parents and brother to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and niece. We flew into Amsterdam and spent the first week there before driving the few hours to their home in Germany. After a week there, I took the train back to Amsterdam. I had a friend there (she was staying with her father for the summer). I slept on their living room floor for a week. We went out for dinner every night with their friends.

SEPTEMBER 1974: BOARDING AT ROERMOND. DESTINATION AMSTERDAM.
(NOTICE THE “MARSHMALLOW” SHOES. I WAS VERY TRENDY.)

Thursday morning, I’m taking the train to Madrid for three nights. I’m staying with a friend. We’re going out to dinner with her friends, and she’s going to give me an insider’s view of Madrid. No floor this time. I’ll have my own bedroom and bathroom. Even so, San Geraldo has decided to stay home with the cats. I’m gonna miss him when I’m gone. And, like the below song says, I know the feeling will be mutual…