In May, after leaving Seville and the sketch group, we travelled on to Córdoba. The city was old and quite lovely, with streets so narrow our taxi almost scraped the walls. We turned into a square and stopped in front of our modern hotel. I was impressed. My husband less so, when I took the invitation to ‘upgrade’ our room. Boy, what a room. King-size bed, windows and balcony; I had no regrets about my decision, after the dingy, and rather stinky room at our last stop. However, it is not our hotel, or the wonderful churches, and artisan stores which surrounded our hotel, that I wish to dwell on here, but a different part of the city where we ventured.
There was a bridge across the river nearby, where hundreds of tourists roamed. We decided to cross to the other side and explore a little, as it looked more peaceful. Small shops lined the wide street where locals gathered. A cafe advertising toasted buns with marmalade – great I was starving. It was incredibly loud and bustling, the coffee good. But Kerry had a plan for the day, so we didn’t stay long.
Kerry is a fan of contemporary art and photography, while I like a wider mix of art in my palette. However, I agreed to accompany him to the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, which was a short walk from the rowdy cafe. The walk itself was interesting, with us being the only tourists it seemed as we passed weedy vacant land. The art museum appeared closed; its high concrete walls fortress-like, apart from the superb cut-out detail. It wasn’t easy locating the entrance. It was dim inside. “It must be shut,’ I told my husband, but no, a figure was moving around inside. So in we went into this vast concrete space and approached the reception table.
To the right was an opening to another vast concrete space where a video installation by Leonor Serranos Rivas was exhibited. I normally don’t appreciate gloom, or video too much, but with this exhibition I was blown away. What interesting work. This artist was adventurous, with colour and imaging of people, and objects, featuring screens above our heads, images on both sides, and surrounding architectural forms.
We walked around in near silence in this grey space, with Kerry enjoying more of the minimalist works than me. However, when we entered yet another space with a set of blue circular stairs, I move towards it and started to climb. Oops, I had forgotten to remove my shoes. What had prompted me to climb this exhibit was because this was Yoko Ono’s work, To See the Sky, the first work of hers that I had seen in person.
You can see through to a further exhibition of hers, featuring boxes of fabric scraps, thread and sewing needles, where the viewer is invited to make patches, and to stitch them to the clothes hanging on a rack alongside. (see the wall behind the blue stairs?).
Yes, I did enjoy the visit, but did leave feeling that this space was under-utilised by local visitors and those from overseas. I do hope that someone does something urgently to redeem this situation, so this great building and its potential, becomes the ‘must-see’ centre for contemporary art it surely was planned to be.