On Thursday, May 31, 2012, we set out to visit The Photographers’ Gallery, a five-story building dedicated to photography with a very nice bookstore in the basement. The main attraction was Edward Burtynsky: Oil, an exhibit by the Canadian photographer. It focused on the extraction, transport, and use of oil with a great collection of meticulously structured photographs. I was going to purchase the exhibit book but it was too heavy to put in the suitcase, so I have already ordered a copy from Amazon. I have one of his books and have seen his work on the Web as well. But this collection, especially when presented as very high-quality large prints, was particularly impressive. Exhibit occupied two floors and all the works were large format pigment prints done just beautifully. Kudos to the photographer and to The Photographers’ Gallery. Although there are a few samples below, I highly recommend a visit to their Web site for more information.
On one floor there was a very interesting installation consisting of a single photograph taken in 1911. It is described as “An Afternoon Unregistered on the Richter Scale (2011) is a silent looped video projection that transforms an archival photograph taken in Calcutta in 1911 through a series of subtle alterations.” (Slow moving video, be patient.) The photograph was rear-projected on to a large screen and the animation was very subtle, mainly the ceiling fan slowly rotating. Unfortunately, the Web site does not show the animation.
We had lunch at the cafeteria on the first floor of The Photographers’ Gallery, then slowly walked on Regent Street towards Jaeger where Binnaz wanted to get something for Jan. We walked by some big-name stores like Liberty of London. Finding what we wanted we returned to the Phoenix House and rested for the evening with the Bussell’s, David and Audrey.
David had made a dinner reservation at The Oxford and Cambridge Club on Pall Mall. A taxi dropped us on the street since we were a little early we slowly strolled up and down and finally met David waiting on the steps in front of the impressive building. We entered the bar but it was quite crowded, so we went upstairs to a more quiet place. David asked for drinks there but we found out that they did not serve drinks in that room, I guess rules are rules. After a short while, we went back downstairs and had to split up since there was no seating for five people. Luckily, the guy sitting at the table where David and Ergun were sitting decided to call his wife and left so we sat together. After a couple of drinks, we proceeded to the main dining room called the Coffee Room. A very elegant room with large paintings on the walls and fine wood tables. We each ordered appetizers and then the main course. They all went for asparagus followed by roast duckling, I chose fried fish like smelts and then Dover sole. Very good choices for me. The accompanying rosé wine was quite good, later I also tasted the red which was also excellent. The dessert for me was a piece of chocolate-orange cake with vanilla ice cream and a double espresso.
Altogether a very fine day, good food and conversation with friends, and a chance to see the Oxford and Cambridge Club.