Monday, November 22, 2010

On the holidays and the power of the masses

Omigosh, blog. Look at how good I was at updating ALL THE TIME and now two WEEKS have gone by. What the?? I'm going to blame it on the winter that has officially arrived in Londontown. It's a bone-chilling average of 5 degrees now (that's Celsius but I'm using here because it sounds fiercer) and it gets dark at four in the afternoon. FOUR IN THE AFTERNOON. Small children are still getting out of SCHOOL at four in the afternoon. And it looks like BEDtime. Needless to say, by the time I get out of school all I can think about are my sweats and wooly socks. Blog wha?

On the bright side, London loses its MIND during the holiday season. I think they string up lights as a mad way of compensating for all the darkness. I don't know how on earth I ended up at Oxford Circus during the busiest time of year, but I will NOT make that mistake again. But check out the giant Present in the Sky! Thank you, Oxford Circus, for the gift of insanity.

And Carnaby Street, in another shocking turn of events, has decided to kick last year's bizarre holiday decor of 'snowflakes' and 'Santa' and has gone instead for the ever-underappreciated, more traditional 'Holiday Solar System.' I think we can all breath a sigh of relief.

And unrelated to holiday festivities, I made it to the Ai WeiWei (which I pronounce as 'I wee-wee') Sunflower Seed exhibit at the Tate Modern! The guy had hundreds of sweat-shop workers helpers painting each of these ceramic sunflower seeds by hand. BY HAND. 

Lest you not understand the scope of this, let's zoom out a little:

And a little more:

Can you believe the size of this? There are over ONE HUNDRED MILLION SEEDS. ALL. UNIQUE. It's supposed to be some sort of commentary on the relationships between 'the individual' and 'the masses' and what it means to be part of a society, but I left that soul-searching to the security guard while I attempted to steal one.

This is why they roped off the seeds. Originally you were supposed to be able to tread on them, but due to 'dust hazards,' they closed it off. I think we all know who 'dust' is. COMMON MAN, LEFT TO HIS OWN DEVICES. Interpret THAT commentary on the individual, WeiWei. You know what the power of them working together means? NO MORE SUNFLOWER SEEDS.

I must head off now--I have a soup to make and more homework piling up! (Always, always.)

Big hugs and love,


  1. That sunflower thing is crazy. I definitely would have taken one.

  2. hahahahaha, Holiday Solar System, love it! So aptly named and so very bizarre!

    and the wee wee sunflower seed exhibit....nothing I can say to that except maybe....uhhh

  3. Okie, I can't even fathom what that would look like. mind*blowing*

  4. Holiday solar system... hmm, I wonder if this is some sort of dissemination on the importance of certain holidays- is this like some sort of backlash against Christmakkah?

    love the seed exhibit. I would have marveled at it with you.

  5. If this were my installation I would have been tempted to use real coffee beans and rake 'em like a zen garden! Yummy smelling art.
    Missed you Rona!

  6. those seeds are mind-boggling. wow. WOW.