Mar. 19th, 2015

I have a student intern Kava from the Netherlands who is working in my lab for the next 3 months, as part of a collaborative project with some faculty in Nijmegen. She's just a senior undergraduate but she's going for an honors thesis or some equivalent, and we've been working out a project with Alar her advisor for the past 6 months or so.

But GSU didn't have any resources for student housing, so she ended up in a decent housing situation with a nice couple but way south outside of the city, and was having a hard time meeting people in my lab etc. So I was feeling guilty and the hubby was urging me to do something, so I suggested that she and I go see the High Museum of Art on Wednesday, since it's spring break and a little more flexible. I wasn't sure if she wanted to do that but she jumped at the chance. ;) I hadn't been there before either but the hubby would never go with me so I figured I'd ask Kava. ;) So we had lunch and a few hours in the museum and some time to chat about work and other stuff.

The museum was really surprisingly good. They had a special exhibit on what I thought was surrealism, but it was only some of that. There were three artists--Wilfredo Lam, Jose Parla, and Fahama Pecou; I didn't really get the Jose Parla part, but Fahama Pecou had a bunch of oversized pictures of men and women in stylized outfits, paired with poems that were alternating lines of French and English. One of them next to a picture of a man in stylized African head gear said

Ma bouche sera la bouche des malheurs
qui n'ont point de bouche

--my intellect prevails from a hanging cross with nails

ma voix, la liberte de celles qui
s'affaissent au cachot du desespoir

--I reinforce the frail with lyrics that's real

Et surtout mon corps aussi bien que mon ame

--Word to Christ a disciple of streets
Life on beats

Gardez-vous de vous croiser les bras
en l'attitude sterile du spectateur

--I decipher prophecies through a mic
and say peace

car la vie n'est pas un spectacle.

It took to me a little bit to realize that the French and the English didn't say the same thing, but I could stand there with my cell phone and translate a bit of it one word at a time, which made for an interesting effect as the French part sort of unfolded, saying very different things from the English. It's a pretty cool conjunction of ideas, if I got it right.



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