Thursday, 17 December 2009

Corinthia Towers Hotel seen from Vršovice

Today's photo shows the Corinthia Towers hotel, at one end of the Nusle Bridge, seen from the vineyard that borders Vinohrady and Vršovice.

On the left can be seen some of the houses of Nusle, nestling under the great viaduct (see my post of 14 December) and, on the right, a glimpse of the Congress Centre which was used until the fall of that regime by the Communist Party before temporarily becoming home to the Magic Lantern theatre company. Now it has reverted to use as a conference hall. In 2006, it was the building in which a convention of astronomers stripped Pluto of its planetary status - shame on them.

It also houses an art gallery where last year I went to see some paintings based on the life of the world-famous Czech-born tennis star Martina Navratilova. It was a curious affair.  Martina had teamed up with Juraj Kralik, a Slovak painter, under whose inspiration she had lobbed a number of paint-covered tennis balls at a wet canvas, producing 'birds-eye views' of her play.

The idea was supposed to generate a multi-million-dollar trade in the new art form, dubbed 'tennising'. Sadly, however, the pictures reminded one of nothing other than the 'hawkeye' TV images which analyse the frequency and position of on-court impacts.

Weirder was the fact that I was followed for an entire half hour by a little old lady at a precautionary distance - a throwback, as if one were needed, to the paranoid regime which Martina, sensibly, fled.


Julie said...

Oo ... two political statements in the one post.

Go Alex!

"tennising" is a dumb choice.

Tom Phillips said...

I remember, of course, the similarly attentive 'museum ladies' at Castle Spillberk in Brno... They really were rather fearsome. That said, of course, when my son lost his cap in the National Historical Museum in Tirana, the Albanian equivalent brought the entire institution to a halt while they looked for his cheap Italia cap on every floor.

Alex said...

Tom I well remember the Brno ones. I think they were related. I also recall, about ten years ago, examples in Petersburg who sit in booths ar the extremeties of the escalators with an ominous black phone, which presumably they use to ring the ones in the Hermitage. They are almost certainly still there.

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