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After a good sleep Kristoffer and I had lunch on Saturday at Spontini50, which I have been wanting to try.

 Spontini50 on rue des Petits Carreaux in the Village Montorgueil

Spontini50 on rue des Petits Carreaux in the Village Montorgueil

It turns out to be the restaurant of Top Chef Ruben Sarfati, who was kind enough to pose for a photo with his handsome waiter.

Handsome waiter and Top Chef Ruben Sarfati at Spontini50

Handsome waiter and Top Chef Ruben Sarfati at Spontini50

Oh wait, how was the food? Very good. Not cheap, but fairly priced for a gourmet meal.

Mozzarella and eggplant appetizer at Spontini50

Mozzarella and eggplant appetizer at Spontini50

I had reserved in advance for us to visit Fondation Louis Vuitton at 4:30 — quite necessary! Kristoffer had hoped to get a haircut first, but there wasn’t time so he had to settle for a shopping spree at Uniqlo at Opéra.

Kristoffer in Seventh Heaven at Uniqlo

Kristoffer in Seventh Heaven at Uniqlo

As we approached Fondation Louis Vuitton through the Jardin d’Acclimatation (admission to which is included with the FLV ticket) I was horrified to see that Frank Gehry’s elegant and graceful building had been papered-over with gaudy colored panels in the name of contemporary art. One Daniel Buren evidently thought that he could improve on Gehry’s work! Calling this misguided project by a fancy name — L’Observatoire de la lumière — didn’t help.

Hideous defacement of Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton

Hideous defacement of Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton

Doesn't look any better up close

Doesn’t look any better up close

Fortunately a few elements of the building somehow escaped Buren’s malign attention:

Soothing wall that somehow avoided being daubed in candy colors

Soothing wall of Fondation Louis Vuitton that somehow avoided being daubed in candy colors

Soothing step fountain also wasn't ruined

Soothing step fountain at Fondation Louis Vuitton also wasn’t ruined

Rose in the lobby of Fondation Louis Vuitton

Rose in the lobby of Fondation Louis Vuitton

All the galleries were given over to display of work by Chinese artists from the museum’s permanent collection. We both liked the sculptures better than the many video works. The test I propose for art videos is this:

  1. Would you pay to go see it in a theater?
  2. Would you keep watching if you stumbled upon it on TV?

If the answer to both questions is “no” then why waste your time watching it in a gallery?

Zhang Huan, Sudden Awakening, 2006, at Fondation Louis Vuitton

Zhang Huan, Sudden Awakening, 2006, at Fondation Louis Vuitton. Incense burns continually inside the enlightened head.

Xu Zhen, New, 2014, at Fondation Louis Vuitton

Xu Zhen, New, 2014, at Fondation Louis Vuitton

Zhang Huan, Giant No. 3, 2008, at Fondation Louis Vuitton

Zhang Huan, Giant No. 3, 2008, at Fondation Louis Vuitton

Kristoffer and me, at Fondation Louis Vuitton

Kristoffer and me, at Fondation Louis Vuitton

Kristoffer had been craving Chinese hot pot, which doesn’t exist in Norway. Fortunately Fondue 59 is right around the corner from my apartment so we had a leisurely and delicious meal there on Saturday night.

Kristoffer and our hot pots at Fondue 59

Kristoffer and our hot pots at Fondue 59

Me at Fondue 59

Me at Fondue 59

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