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In Paris, France - From Traditional Painted Portrait to Ubiquitous Digital Selfie:
New Aesthetic in Search of Individual Identity, and more…
June 17 – 22, 2017

DAY 1 to 4  - June 14 to 16

I stay at the Hôtel de la Tulipe, on rue Malar

After flying from Saskatoon, via Toronto, here I am in Paris, France! My primary objective of this trip is to attend and participate in the annual Conference of The Arts in Society, being held this year at The American University in Paris, a short walk from my hotel. After that I will stay to enjoy immersion in the culture and language of La ville des lumières!

At the Conference, June 14 – 16, I take in many interesting presentations, and I present my own paper: From Traditional Painted Portrait to Ubiquitous Digital Selfie: New Aesthetic in Search of Individual Identity. It is a reflection on identity-search and aesthetics over history, comparing classic traditional painted self-portraits of the past with today’s profusion of portraits, self-portraits and selfies emanating from digital technology. The two periods have common points, but differ greatly due to modern technology and commercial trends.

Selfie taking is complex and multidimensional. It is a cultural and social act, a call for connection, an act of mimicry, and part of people’s ever-incomplete search for identity. Often regarded as a shallow expression of online narcissism, the selfie is both adored and reviled. Yet it flourishes as one of the most effective outlets for self-definition and, as such, it can be accepted as “official art”.
To come: Selfies fascinate me – I plan to pursue the topic, from both my own adventures with them and through research.

On the evening of June 16, I move my base to the Yves Robert Hostel, staying there till June 22.

DAY 5 – Saturday, June 17     
Day off and rest in the hostel and area.

DAY 6 – Sunday, June 18   

Visit the Musée d’Orsay
Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) painted almost 200 portraits during his career, including 26 of himself and 29 of his wife, Hortense Fiquet. This exhibition is here from June 13 – September 24.

Visit the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur    
This is the national seat of the highest order of merit of France . The building, also known as the Hôtel de Salm is located next to the old Orsay railway station (now the Musée d'Orsay) in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.

DAY  7 – Monday, June 19    

Visit a few private galleries, on my way to the Picasso Museum.

The Musée Picasso is an art gallery located in the Hôtel Salé, in the Marais district of Paris, dedicated to the work of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973).

However, I discover that Picasso Museum is closed on Mondays…  

Promenade on des Vosges Street, visiting private galleries….

DAY  8 – Tuesday, June 20    

With Marie-France, met at the hostel, we go to the Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac.

The Quai Branly Museum opened in 2006, and is the newest of the major museums in Paris. It is a museum featuring the indigenous art and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.

Marie-France and I also visit:

  • Primitive Picasso, showing from March 28 to July 23, 2017
  • and part of the permanent African exhibition.

DAY 9  – Wednesday, June 21   

Visit Centre Georges-Pompidou

This is one of the most unique-looking buildings of Paris. It is named after the French president Georges Pompidou and was designed by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, who put the utilities, mostly as brightly painted pipes, stairs, elevators, etc. on the outside of the building.

I especially enjoy the David Hockney exhibition, here from June 21, 2017 to October 23, 2017  . He is renowned for his many styles, explosive colours and large swimming pool canvases. 

DAY 10  – Thursday, June 22   

Visit at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre

The Basilica is perched at the very top of Butte de Montmartre (Montmartre Hill). It was built from contributions pledged by Parisian Catholics as an act of contrition after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.

DAY 11  – Friday, June 23

Departure day,

  • I fly first Paris - Montreal, (over Greenland!), photo #4
  • second, Montreal – Toronto
  • and third, Toronto – Saskatoon