Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Well and truly started

Even though I was at work yesterday, it really felt like the first day of my full-on festival period.

Went up to the Royal Mile at lunchtime and took over 300 shots of the performers and artists there - including the ever-photogenic Two Sopranos (one of whom is pictured to the right).

Then, after work, I went to the Tracey Emin - 20 Years exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. I didn't really know a huge amount about Ms Emin prior to seeing this, but it was a truly fascinating retrospective of her work to date. Using media ranging from video to tapestry (and with the infamous 'My Bed' installation an undisputed highlight), the exhibition was moving, harrowing, narcissistic, revealing, disturbing, confessional and compelling all at once.

Learning of her troubled childhood and traumatic life experiences (via a self-narrated video piece entitled 'My C.V. 1963-1997') put her provocative and arresting work into context and made me view her in a completely different light than previous. Emin deserves to be called an artist in the truest sense of the word, and as my friend observed, it will be fascinating to watch how her work evolves - and I'll definitely be making a point of seeking it out in future.

After the exhibition, I collected the final two tickets for the shows I have booked...then the call of the Spiegel Garden was too strong to resist. It's slightly smaller than last year, but the atmosphere is the same - whilst sitting outside drinking beer and watching people enjoying themselves, it didn't take a huge leap of faith to imagine you were in 1920s Berlin or similar.

Then, after a couple of drinks there, we moved on to Bristo Square, beside the Udderbelly tent where the likes of the Caesar Twins, Gerry Sadowitz and the Jim Rose Circus are all appearing. A couple more drinks and we spent the rest of the evening pretending to be invisible...

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