Picture of the Week

22 March 2022

Week 10: Museo de la Universidad de Alicante, picking oranges in Xativa

Filed under: — Administrator @ 06:33

Two “main events” this week–a guided visit to the art museum at the University of Alicante, and an afternoon in an orange grove near Valencia, picking oranges and eating paella.

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But first my little act of protest against the war in Ukraine, something that has touched me deeply on many levels. I have been donating money to various relief efforts, and of course I encourage everyone to boycott Russian products. This is not such a big deal since Russia is basically a third-world country with nukes and so it exports very few consumer goods. Here in Alicante one can find the odd bottle of Russian vodka and one supermarket chain carries Baltika, Russia’s most popular beer. I have considered accidentally dropping some bottles on the floor, but did not want to create extra work for the employees. So instead I have printed these little pieces of paper which I have been leaving on the shelves next to the offending products:
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Now to the first of the week’s events. On Thursday evening, our art club WeArt visited the art museum at the University of Alicante. It is quite a striking building on the outskirts of the suburban campus:
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We were going to meet two of the artists currently exhibiting at the museum. The first was Elio Rodriguez, originally from Cuba but now based in the nearby town Elche. Here he is, explaining his art to us:
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Anna looks at Elio’s work, the theme is “the jungle”:
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The other main theme of Elio’s is called “utopia”:
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We then moved on to a group exhibition called Mulier Mulieris. Mulier means “woman” in Valenciano and the exhibition addressed women’s issues through various lenses. One of the exhibiting artists, Susana Guerrero, was on hand to explain her work:
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Our third guide was Reme Navarro, the museum’s coordinator who did an excellent job showing us around the rest of the exhibition. Here she explains a work about women who choose to remain childless and the negative perception of that choice in most societies:
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My favourite piece in the Mulier Mulieris exhibition was this set, called The Chapel. The images on the wall juxtapose various quotes from the Bible with images and modern texts highlighting the resulting oppression:
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An example, illustrating Timothy 2:11-15 (A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet):
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Another highlight of the museum was this exhibition of photographs and drawings by Austrian photographer Lisl Steiner, still going strong at 94:
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She has photographed many famous people, including HCB:
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She is also good at drawing selfies:
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The visit is ending, and Reme gets a deserved round of applause:
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The museum courtyard, at dusk:
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Before saying goodbye, I took this photo of our three wonderful guides. Visiting exhibitions is always nice, but when you can meet the artists and hear their ideas it becomes a completely different experience:
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And then we left:
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The entrance to the museum. It is integrated into the landscape, and to get in, you descend underground:
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On Friday morning, I enjoyed another beautiful sunrise while out on my pre-work bike ride:
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Further up in the mountains, somebody has left painted stones by the side of the road. Art is everywhere:
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Some of us went for lunch at Moments. It had been a while since our last visit, and it was good to be back. As always, we chose the terrace even though it was a bit cool and windy. Carolina ordered a new dish on the menu, chunks of salmon with some sauce, beautifully arranged:
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Besides the food, part of the enjoyment of eating outside is to watch the human (and canine) traffic on the promenade:
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Or just getting visited by the little birds looking for crumbs:
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On Saturday, we were invited by some friends to come to their orange plantation in Xàtiva, a town about 60 km south of Valencia, to help ourselves to as many oranges as we wanted and then have lunch. The weather was nice, and from the house we had a nice view of the surrounding orange groves:
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Our friends are not professional growers; their orange grove is too small for a commercial operation but too big for them to consume all the oranges. So the solution is to invite friends to come and help themselves:
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We collected 6 large bags of these beauties. We are eating lots of them ourselves, I took a bag to the office to share with my co-workers, and my wife has made several bottles of orange juice:
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And then it was time for lunch, and here, in the heart of Valencia province, there is only one option, a delicious paella:
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The last photo before going home. Oranges on the table illuminated by the setting sun:
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