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Vroom!

Not quite a room with a view but a view from a room, kind of. . .

Digital photography has changed the way people record their lives, whether through an actual camera or a smart phone. With the cost of making prints to see what it looks like gone completely, there is no reason not to take a photo of anything at all. If it’s no good, the delete key is right there, and if it is. . .or even if it isn’t, if it’s just a moment in time that has some interest or other (or not), it can be whomped up on a blog post or anywhere at all on the net, or even – daring but done – a print can be made and stuck in a photo album, or in a show. . .or pasted on a door, or the floor. . .It’s good! It’s better than good! Amazing! A friend of mine takes a lot of photos of what she eats. Why ever not? I’ve tended to continue taking photos of things that cost me a bomb to record in the old film days, but have added a few. . .

In my cycle trip through Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands at some point I started taking photos of hotel interiors. They range from hostel bed shots – of the mattress above from a lower bunk in a hostel – to rooms, hallways and stairwells. . .and in one case the skylight of an atrium, and a strange sculpture in a hotel in the Netherlands. Some are modern, and some older. . .

It struck me that there is probably an endless elaboration of the division of labour in hotel design too, that if you can’t get a degree in hotel hallway design now, it won’t be long away.

Here is a selection, just for you.

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This hallway is in a “Scandic” hotel in Malmo, Sweden. The carpet is not one that would suit someone somewhat the worse for wear in my opinion. But maybe, given that it’s Sweden, it’s about sex:

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Below is a hallway in Jonkoping, Sweden. The colours are cool, though I was not too taken by the carpet.

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This stairwell in the hotel is not at all bad.

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Here is the view from above, with a certain derelict cyclist’s machine locked up:

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But the room! Wow! For the unfit guest, or the guest who is superfit and just forgot to bung a set of barbells in the luggage:

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I used them. I did! You wouldn’t know.

In Gothenburg, which is spelt many ways, here is the atrium of one of the Scandic hotels (there are heaps of them):

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Below is another corridor from a Danish hotel in a chain that wants guests to feel they are in a ship. The prices are very reasonable.

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Somewhat more elegant, a revamped historic hotel in a small Danish city outside Aarhuis.

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A window from same:

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This amazing work is in the lobby of a hotel in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. I have tried, and so far failed, to discover what it’s about, so have in the interim made up its story, which I will share with you.

The hotel is opposite a memorial to the Canadian soldiers who fell in the campaign to rid the Netherlands of  the Germans in World War II. Quite a few died – it was a very hard campaign. The Canadian headquarters were nearby – the palace where the King and Queen of the country once lived.

My theory is that this carving was a gift from Canadian natives who had served in the campaign, either to the royals or the hotel. It symbolises – according to me – the hunting prowess of the subjects, the warrior standing on the head of the bison revealing this, plus the warlike success and failure of the people, symbolised by the head in the one hand. . .there is more. I would be grateful for any information that either debunks this, or adds to it.

 

 

Onward! Here is a lift in a Leipzig hotel. . .

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and here another window in a hotel near Dresden, in the area known as “Saxon Switzerland”:

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There you go. This is a teaser for some other “themes” that will surface eventually.  If you haven’t enjoyed this one – sorry! Maybe one about gallery installations that are art in themselves (fire hydrants for example). Yes or no, thanks for reading this one.

 

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Posted by on May 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Even more newvian

Hello beautiful human. Yes, it is true that I often feel, especially early in the morning when I stare bleakly at the screen with the bleary eyes of the restless non-sleeper, that I am an alien from some other place in the universe who somehow got stranded here on Earth, and that my task (which I have had to accept regardless of what the dude* in Mission Impossible had to say about it) is to schmooze with this planet’s inhabitants, meaning that I am doing a terrible job so may as well get started afresh with a well-deserved compliment. I hope you are doing very well indeed.

Anyway it is a fresh morning in the small town in New Zealand where I live. It is a very nice town that was originally settled by Scandinavians from Norway, Denmark and Sweden though there have been plenty of others jostling for their place in the community history and consciousness, among them the alien! It is a coincidence that I have settled here and that I am a fan of “Scandi” film and television, but it is a nice coincidence. A recent post in this blog was about The Killing, a Danish “noir” series that had three seasons. After finishing that harrowing excursion into the genre, I picked up almost by accident The Bridge, a Swedish-Danish co-production.

The Bridge has had three seasons and its creators promise a fourth, to be released next year. There will be endless elaborations in other countries – there has already been an American spin-off – of the adventures of Swedish detective Saga Noren and a Danish counterpart as the usual line of Scandinastian villain does ever more horrific things to a string of victims who surely, whatever their faults, did not deserve to be treated in that way.

Like The Killing, the storyline of The Bridge is mind-bogglingly elaborate, full of herrings red and otherwise. It may or may not be a sign of my own incisive mind that I picked the villain out from the lineup on first appearance, just like that.

Whodunnit is not, however, what is attractive about this series. Nor is the ever more inventive gore. Saga Noren steals the show, taking The Killing‘s Sarah Lund-style fractured personality and developing it into the most deeply read and sensitively realised portrayal I have ever seen. The Bridge might not be television as it ought to be, but it is nonetheless better not only than The Killing, but also the Swedish Wallander.

Arguably this is the result of the extended development of Noren’s personality. My usual complaints of TV series are present in The Bridge – the apparent need (presumably financial at root) to have a template that is repeated each episode may begin as something eye-catching and even heart-clutching, but after a few instalments is merely irritating.

What is amazing about Noren is the development of a personality that at the outset is already extremely intense. The actress portraying her, Sofia Helin, has said that the character she has brought to life so tellingly is autistic in some unspecified way. Noren is fascinating, and it is a tribute to the actress and to the producers that the character can not only be individual and well portrayed but change and develop through 30 episodes. As her relations with those around her become increasingly complex and the pressure goes on, her responses are heart-wrenching. One can imagine the whole of humanity, plus one alien, cheering her on.

The Killing ended ambiguously (sorry, no spoiler) and the fourth series of The Bridge may follow suit but  I hope it doesn’t. Saga! Triumph over all! We are on your side!

*The man who told the star, Peter Graves, that the tape would self-destruct in five seconds. Graves had a choice, though it seems he always accepted the challenge. See however “You don’t wait ages for a post, and then. . .” on this blog, wearing if you feel the need a tinfoil hat.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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