Pompidou Thoughts

After visiting the Centre du Pompidou to visit the Yayoi Kusama exhibit, who happens to be one of my long time obsessions, I found myself outside staring at the building from the massive pit. The space was filled with life: tourists, gypsies, musicians, students, tout le monde. I stood contemplating the significance of the building’s existence. Since its construction it has been a source of controversy with many Parisians thinking it as an ugly, obtrusive structure in an otherwise classic location. Constructed with the inside being exposed to the outside eye, the building’s pipes of various colors stick out in the French landscape. Each colored piped corresponds with its contents: yellow for electricity, green for fluids, blue for water, red for gas. Fragile yet beautiful it stands challenging what is valid architecture in Paris.
The Pompidou resists assimilation by drawing attention to itself as in a Haussmann-ized Paris. Even though its location is in Paris, it is one of the few monuments that don’t actively distinguish it as representing “the Parisian”. The building ultimately represents modern global culture even since its inception. While it was the ex-president of France Georges Pompidou who commissioned the museum, Italian, British, and Irish architects designed the Pompidou collaboratively. All of the architects came together to create a design that would turn perceptions of architecture upside-down. Beyond just its unusual exterior, the interior showcases modern works of art from artists of all ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Numerous topics are discussed through the art and are publicly accessible. The greater area of the Pompidou center even promotes the notion of a global community in Paris rather than just Parisian existence with various demonstrations taking place in the courtyards covering global political and social issues.
While being here in Paris, I find I can enter a distinct piece of mind when I meander through the exhibits at the Pompidou or roam the streets in the surrounding area of the museum. Here, I am free to explore without the constant pull to assimilate into “le mode de Parisian”. Rather I can freely enjoy the cultural offerings of artists from around the globe however I choose to.

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