...Continued from page 1

It rattles us up a bunch of floors to a dim landing with two doors. We hear cocktail noise, but have to ear-test both doors before trying one.

Inside, we have just advanced a century. White walls, white tiled floor, space and lights all over the place, and paintings on all the walls - some of which are sculptures in frames. There is a glass case full of fine books, another table piled up with hefty art catalogues, and some contrast-color comfortable-looking but fairly minimal furniture.

The people, and there's more than a few, are well-dressed. We three from the 14th, in contrast, resemble drowned rats. But the reception is warm somewhat like the room temperature.

What has gotten me to this place, specifically, has been Dimitri telling me he is 'in' one of Martin's paintings. In the Bouquet the evening before, I had a quick glance at a book full of Martin's work. Even if he speed-paints, he has to spend a lot of time at it. There's no scribbles.

The occasion of this exhibition, is for collective showing by four artists, named 'Groupe Memoires.' The floor of the apartment this is in, is the living area. Upstairs there is an atelier, but I don't see it.

The artists are Hastaire, Lydie Arickx, Alain Kleinmann and Martin. It is a big place, there are a lot of works on display, and all of them look like high-end collectibles. They all look as if a lot of work has been put in them.

The 'memories' part is apt. Most of the works look like memories of the past, somewhat aged andphoto: martin a bit blurred with some ragged edges - but this is all painted or sculpted. I don't remember all of it, and some of them weren't exactly in this vein.

The painting Dimitri is 'in' turns out to be Dimitri's original peddle-car. This is one tiny part of a whole painting of memories. The Dimitri part is a borrowed memory I guess. But it is real enough.

Martin has also owned a fleet of 2CVs.

In the kitchen Dimitri is dismayed to find no red wine - only two-litre bottles of whisky. There are little snacks too and they are very good.

Fabienne leaves to go to her next thing and I talk to Hastaire, who enjoys nonsense. Maybe it is because this exhibition started at 11:00 this morning and is supposed to continue until 22:00.

Unlike at a public exhibition, people do talk to each other. I meet a lady painter from the 14th who looks too upscale for where she says she lives.

Martin is still severely jetlagged, or maybe he is always like this - bopping all over the place, with a whisky in one fist. Maybe doing all the detail work makes one high when one is free of it. I must have been 'jetlagged' myself, for decades.

I don't think I meet Lydie. Martin gets together with Alain and Hastaire and I photograph them - the old buddies. The light is good but it is coming straight down so I ask them to put their heads back. Martin is too tall. It isn't a great photo.

It's fine. It's warm. There's food and there's drink. It seems cultivating and civilized. The last thing I wantphoto: sad fastfood to do is hit the street with the rain and the somber gloom, somewhere in the damp 10th arrondissement near the Gare de l'Est.

Leaving Dimitri behind, this is what I do. The rain is taking a break. On Sébasto I find the métro at Château d'Eau okay.

Snacks for regular folks at Faisal's Fast Food.

On the train two little kids sit opposite me. They have wands with tiger heads, with winking lights in them. They are riding the slightly scary métro, going home from some exciting place, like me.

At the café Rendez-Vous at Denfert the finals of the Davis Cup tennis match are on TV hung above the bar, and the French have a slight lead over the Russians. All the French bigwigs are out at Bercy, including Boris Yeltsin.

For the French, Le Parisien's headline on Monday will be, 'Raté!' I wish I remembered to ask Dimitri what Boris might have said.
signature, regards, ric

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