01 April 2011
'A Little Bit of Maman.'Buenos Aires. Day off.
Production played a great April fool prank this morning. At about one minute past midnight this morning, a crew work memo was emailed out to everyone, as usual, which I'm sure most read in the various bars and fleshpots of Buenos Aires. The memo looked perfectly normal but was bearing the bad news that, due to some last minute rehearsals, everyone had an 8am call this morning to go to the stadium. Oh, and our touring laundry service was being disbanded for the rest of the leg, due to an issue with the washing machines.
It all looked perfectly plausible but I was just a bit surprised that I hadn't heard anything about this rehearsal, as normally I would have been the one calling for it. Eventually I noticed the date APRIL 1ST 2011 in unusually huge letters at the top of the memo and the penny dropped. Nice one - I wonder how many hung-over souls were fuming in the lobby at 07.59 this morning?
This afternoon I managed to get out to the PROA art gallery to see a Louise Bourgeois show that I'd heard was worth a look. The gallery is down in the area of La Boca, known for it's colourful painted houses. I'd never been there before so was happy to kill two birds with one stone. The cab driver took us through an area of the docks that was fairly jaw-dropping, with packs of stray dogs, encampments of people living rough, shanty homes and an extraordinary-looking shanty bar. All this life passing the taxi window before we emerged close to the gallery, where all was busy crowds and a huge spider outside the building.
Louise Bourgeois died last year at the age of 98 having continued to make her extraordinary, confessional, multimedia work to the very end. She is best known for Maman, her giant spider sculptures that have toured the world (U2 last crossed paths with one in Tokyo on the Vertigo tour). There's a little bit of Maman in the 360 stage, so it was rather nice to think that the two structures are now in the same city, albeit briefly.
Having had my art fix, I took a stroll round the brightly coloured streets of La Boca, only to discover that they are the most hideous tourist trap imaginable. Even the areas like San Telmo that we'd been warned about as being touristy seemed like indigenous backwaters compared to this. Hair-braiding, caricature artists, photo-with-a-tango-dancer stands...taxi!