Sunday, December 26, 2010

André Kertész: On Reading

On Reading presents 100 photographs that examine the power of reading as a universal pleasure, made by Kertész in Hungary, France, Asia, and the United States over the course of his career. Collectively, these images reveal Kertész’s penchant for the poetry and choreography of life in public and in private moments at home, and evoke the love affair people have with the written word.
--Linda Benedict-Jones, curator of photography, Carnegie Museum of Art

The show carries us through over 50 years of Kertesz's eye. I walked away itching to get home, get somewhere, where I could sit with a book in hand and fall into that envious place of reading. Kertesz captured a state of grace in those portraits. Taken as a whole, he offered up a mood of calmness but at the same time, intense engagement. He focuses us on the people and their minds at work but never lets us forget the power of the physical environment. Beautiful thing being able to capture the two sides of existence at once. Don't miss this show.

Self-service electric cars in Paris

French conglomerate Bollore has won a contract to provide its small four-seater electric cars to France.The bubble-shaped Bluecars, designed by Italian partner Pininfarina, are powered by lithium polymer metal batteries produced by Bollore, and have a range of 250 km (155 miles) in the city between charges, which will take about four hours. The Autolib scheme, due to be introduced next autumn, will see 3,000 bubble-shaped, battery-powered cars stationed at 1,000 self-service hire points across the city and its suburbs.

Autolib builds on the success of Velib and replicates its business model. Launched in 2007 in Paris and now replicated in many other European cities, Velib is a bike rental scheme that allows customers to pick a bike from one of the 1,200 points in Paris (one every 300 meters) and return it to another, without having to worry about parking, maintenance or indeed theft. Autolib’ replicates the scheme with electric cars instead of bikes. In a way, one could argue that, albeit with a different vehicle, the Velib’ programme was a full scale prototype of the Autolib’ one.