Ragnar Kjartansson and the All-Star Band

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My first encounter with Icelandic multidisciplinary artist Ragnar Kjartansson was his mesmerizing nine-screen video installation, The Visitors (2012) at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao a few summers ago which had left me in awe.

It could be hard explaining to people unfamiliar with Kjartansson that this wasn’t just any concert by an indie band but rather, by an artist whose body of work has been dominated by endurance-based performances and video installations exploring themes such as fiction vs. reality and the romanticism of the artist.

That night in Paris, he was brilliant as a playful and tragicomic entertainer, taking self-indulgent performance art to the next level.

Chez Françoise

Cool project by an old acquaintance Eric Leleu in Guesnain, the village in northern France where he grew up in, documenting the retirement of café owner Françoise, and along with it, the shuttering of the oldest café in Guesnain after 25 years.

As a foreigner here, I find that physical social networks like this are still everywhere in France, even in Paris with all its fancy/ non-fancy supermarkets and hipster coffee shops.

Off the top of my head, in my (new) neighborhood, I can think of the tiny boucherie which still sells horse meat, the alimentation générale run by two Arab dudes and the couple of café-tabacs teeming with regulars at all hours I’ve not (yet) entered.

We just have to keep an eye out for them.

Evening light

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Valley of Love (2015)

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(source)

My first French film of 2016 also marks my first Gérard Depardieu film, and I can’t stop staring at his bulbous nose. Not sure where this film is going half the time, if it is going anywhere at all, and a word of warning to those who aren’t too big on Depardieu (myself included): He’s mostly sweaty and pretty much naked (save for a pair of dignity-saving boxer shorts) in the film.

Druggists

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Having a bar all to yourself on a late afternoon pretty much sums up the luxury of playing tourist back home. With 23 types of craft beer on tap (all foreign), am I asking for too much by hoping for just one more from Singapore one day ?

Druggists
119 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207547

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